Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, April 9, 2014

Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old who befriended Michigan State superstar Adreian Payne, died late Tuesday night. Her parents confirmed the news Wednesday morning with a photo posted to Instagram that read: "Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances among angels…. The world is a better place because you were in it. Our hearts are broken. We love you Doll. Dance all night… Mommy and Daddy, Will, Mitchell, and Luke."

[ MORE: Watch all of BTN's Lacey Holsworth videos ]

Holsworth, who suffered from neuroblastoma, met Payne two years ago. The two formed a genuine friendship, and Holsworth quickly became "Superman's" No. 1 fan. She and her family traveled to Michigan State games, including the Big Ten and NCAA tourneys last month, Payne's final college games. Holsworth also attended the team banquet and was in Dallas last week to watch Payne compete in the slam dunk contest.

[ MORE: Twitter: Spartans, B1G basketball community mourn Lacey Holsworth's death ]

Izzo and Spartans host Holsworth at team banquet:

Here's Holsworth as Payne's special guest on Senior Night:

And here's our touching BTN Journey feature on the two:

[ MORE: Tom Izzo, Mark Hollis release statement on Lacey Holsworth ]

Spartan family reacts to news:

Others offered their condolences, too: