Coach Izzo breaks down during tearful tribute to Princess Lacey

Spartans superfan Lacey Holsworth died of cancer this week.

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Michigan State coach Tom Izzo broke down during a tearful tribute to Princess Lacey, the 8-year-old Spartans fan who died of cancer this week.

Izzo said "How proud I am" of the scores of students who turned out Wednesday night to sign a giant rock painted with the words "MSU (hearts) Princess Lacey."

Lacey Holsworth had been with her favorite player, Adreian Payne, and the Spartans throughout the postseason. She was there in Indianapolis when Payne cut down the nets for a Big Ten championship, in New York as the Spartans‘ NCAA title dreams came to a crushing end, and then in Dallas last week when Payne competed in a dunk contest.

It turned out she was enjoying one last memorable month.

"When she came back on Saturday she said, ‘Dad, I’m tired. It’s time to go home,’" Izzo said he was told by her parents.

"I think that’s home," he said in a cracked voice, pointing to the heavens.

"Her parents told me tonight she was smiling when she died. I don’t know that I’d be that tough," he added.

Izzo admonished the students to learn from Lacey.

"Don’t ever give up on anything," he said. "Don’t ever quit."