Adreian Payne of Michigan State has been honored at the John R. Wooden award gala for his friendship with a cancer-stricken 8-year-old girl.
Payne received the first Outreach Award on Friday night at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. He attended the gala two days after the death of Lacey Holsworth of St. Johns, Mich., who was stricken with neuroblastoma in 2011.
Payne met Holsworth during one of her hospital stays just months after the death of the grandmother who raised him. Payne brought the girl to Michigan State games over the last two years, texted with her daily, and brought her on the court during Senior Day and the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.
Holsworth joined Payne at the team's season-ending banquet and at a slam dunk contest during the Final Four last week.