January thru March 2009 Candygrams

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009---Trojan Candy at the Men’s Basketball Banquet

My son Gregory and I went to the USC Men’s Basketball banquet tonight. Everyone attending the event in the Founder’s Room of the Galen Center was PROUD of our team! They had fought to the very end against Michigan State in a very close game in the NCAA second round. If only ....

Most of the players arrived late to the dinner. Gregory, my sister Patti Poon, and I scurried around among the early team arrivals and the late team arrivals. We're so short, we can move around undetected!

I took pictures with some of our friends that I see at Heritage. They were Dwight Lewis, Daniel Hackett, Taj Gibson, Alex Stepheson, and Mamadou Diarra. I had everyone sign a small basketball that I got at a Women of Troy game this season.

Gregory Yee and Dwight Lewis
Dwight Lewis was one of the first players to come to the Founder’s Room. He was swarmed for autographs.
Gregory Yee and Daniel Hackett
Daniel Hackett arrived next. Most of the rest of the team arrived after the delicious salad and crab cake was already served.
Trojan Candy, Taj Gibson, and Patti Poon
Our good friend Taj Gibson.
Patti Poon, Alex Stepheson, and Trojan Candy
Alex Stepheson posed with my sister and me.
Patti Poon, Mamadou Diarra, and Trojan Candy
Is Mamadou Diarra the tallest?

The food was delicious...especially the chocolate Lava Cake topped with vanilla ice cream!

The video of the team’s season evoked many cheers from the audience...especially the video of our Pac-10 Tournament Championship! There were more banquet tables this year. This could be the start of something BIG!

Coach Tim Floyd told the audience little tidbits about each of the players. He said that if every player came back next year, along with our recruits.... We could be a top FIVE team! Many hoots and hollers followed that declaration!

Gregory Yee and DeMar DeRozanAs the USC Spirit of Troy celebrated every trophy winner with a flourish, Coach Floyd awarded the Most Coachable Player to DeMar DeRozan. The Most Improved Players were DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. Two Freshmen! The Most Inspirational Player was, naturally, Daniel Hackett. The Most Valuable Players were Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett! All the guests chanted, “One more year!” when Daniel, Demar, and Taj each came up to the podium.

Coach Floyd told us that he will plan the banquet two weeks later in 2010.... That is, after we win the NCAA National Championship!

March 27, 2009---We’re back at Heritage Hall

What a gorgeous day at Heritage Hall!

There were many groups of men walking around Heritage Hall today. We learned that they were high school football coaches going to a Coach’s Clinic run by Pete Carroll’s staff today at the Galen Center. Last year the event was held at Heritage Hall. We gave them campus maps and directed them across the campus to the Galen Center.

Some old friends stopped by the desk. Photographer Dan Avila; Omari Crittenden, who told us that there will be a meeting tomorrow (Saturday) morning to start off spring football practice; Matt Barkley, with a big smile when I wished him good luck in the quarterback competition; and Assistant Athletic Director Teresa Verbeck.

Also coming by the desk was our really good friend, Juan Figueroa. With his usual big smile and a cell phone pressed against his ear, Juan told us that he got married! We congratulated him!!! Was he talking to his new bride?

On an errand upstairs in the Administrative Offices, my sister Pat and I saw basketball players Leonard Washington and Marcus Johnson sitting in the two lounge chairs. I said “Hi” to both of them. They both smiled and then went back to doing something on their cell phones. I couldn’t resist.... As soon as Leonard looked up again I asked if he was going to stay. He smiled and said, “YES!” I told both of them to come downstairs for a snack. Fight on, Leonard! Fight On, Marcus!

Camille LeNoirTwo new friends came by the Heritage desk. Camille LeNoir came in the glass doors with a smile on her face. I said “Hello” to her and asked if she wanted any snacks. Camille took a Sour Punch, Winterfresh gum, Reese’s peanut buttercup, and a Rice Krispie Treat. Now we know what she likes. Camille said she has played basketball since she was seven years old, and that after she graduates she would like to play in the WNBA. If that doesn’t work out, she wants to go into Sports Ministry. Camille majored in Sociology with a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. I took her picture near Cheryl Miller’s trophy case in the lobby. Afterwards we talked for a while about Cheryl Miller’s two NCAA championships. I told her how Cheryl, the McGee twins (Pam and Paula), Cynthia Cooper, and Rhonda Wyndham played like champions when they beat the then perennial powerhouse Louisiana Tech and Tennessee in Los Angeles to win USC’s first NCAA Basketball Championship in 1983! We also talked about Camille playing against her younger sister Danielle last January. Danielle LeNoir is a freshman at Washington State University. The Women of Troy won that game. Fight On, Camille!

Sean CawleyThe second new friend, who took a pack of Spearmint gum, was Sean Cawley. He is a History major from the Chicago area. Sean is a Senior with two years of eligibility left on the USC Men’s Track and Field team. He runs the 400 meters sprint. Sean told us that he plans to be a teacher after he graduates. A Trojan after my own heart! My sister Pat and I are retired teachers. Fight On, Sean!

March 23, 2009---Second Round---Cal vs Virginia

Shooting drillCoach Boyle discussing strategyThe Cal Women’s Basketball 11:50 am to 12:50 pm team practice started out with shooting drills where the team was divided in half. The players shot at the two opposite baskets and counted baskets made. The first team to hit 20 won! Then the rest of the practice was devoted to strategy and moving through offensive and defensive sets. Again on game day, the practice is not very strenuous.

The Cal team arrived at the Galen Center at 5:00 pm. My husband held open the door to the locker room and we wished “Good luck!” to every player and coach.

Devanei Hampton receiving a lob passAshley WalkerThe second round game versus Virginia started at 6:30 pm. Both teams traded baskets for a while. Then Cal steadily pulled away. At the end, four starters were in double figures and the entire team rebounded well. The final score was Cal 99 and Virginia 73. Cal’s Ashley Walker was the MVP with a career high-tying 32 points along with ten rebounds.

This entire weekend was so enjoyable being a hostess for the Cal Bears. The only thing better would be being an NCAA hostess for my USC Women of Troy next year!

March 21, 2009---First Round---Cal vs Fresno State

Cal Team PracticeThe Cal Women’s Basketball team practiced this morning from 9:40 to 10:40 am. The practice is timed exactly for one hour. The loud horn that we hear during games sounds to end the practice. This practice was not as strenuous as yesterday’s practice. The Cal coaches ran the players through various offensive and defensive sets and gave them strategy directions.

Post game press conferenceCal beat Fresno State 70 to 47. This is the 14th time this season that Cal has held its opponent to less that 50 points! Cal’s Ashley Walker was the outstanding player of the game with a game high 21 points along with eight rebounds. At the post game press conference, my husband asked Coach Joanne Boyle what she knew about Marist and Virginia who were about to play the second game of the first round. She responded with a lot of information about the players of both potential opponents. A sign of an excellent coach!

March 20, 2009---Greetings from Heritage Hall! No!

Greetings from the Galen Center! It is spring break this week on campus, but the Galen Center is brimming with excitement.

Welcome to the NCAA'sUSC is hosting the first round of the Trenton Bracket of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Cal, Fresno State, Virginia, and Marist are represented.

My husband Jim and I are volunteer hosts for the Cal Bears. We greeted them at the Downtown Marriott when the team arrived at 9:20 pm last night. Then this morning I escorted the team around the Galen Center to their locker room (the USC men’s volleyball locker room) and to the media room for interviews. After that, I watched their intense one hour practice.

Media interview

What an experience! I get to imagine what it is like to be a college basketball player. There are eleven ladies on the Cal Bears...and I’m the 12th! Enjoy my vicarious experience...

On Thursday our plane from Oakland to LAX landed at 8:20 pm. Our bus ride got us to the Downtown Marriott pretty fast. Our Director of Women’s Basketball Sarah Holsinger got us all checked in, and we had a late dinner upstairs. We also had snacks provided by our host and hostess, Jim and Candy Yee.

Our locker roomThis morning, we arrived at the Galen Center around 11:30 am after a short bus ride down Figueroa Street. Each one of us had our bags inspected and were given an ID bracelet to wear. Our hostess Candy took us to our locker room. As we walked into the locker room, our earlier teammates sprayed us with water!

There was a table full of mini-sandwiches, chips, fruit, cookies, and candy for us to nibble. Plus an additional table of snacks that our hostess gave us. We immediately sat on the comfortable couches and watched some of the men’s Kansas vs. N. Dakota State game. We were able to “just chill” for a while until Coach told us to get ready for practice.

Our final huddle of practicePractice was very spirited! We ran many set plays, counted out LOUDLY every basket we made, and practiced different defenses. Coach Joanne Boyle always gets us well prepared!

March 13, 2009---What a Lucky Friday the 13th!

It was so quiet at Heritage Hall today. Spring break is next week, and most of the student athletes must have left already.

When I first arrived, I asked a football player to help me lift the “This Week in Sports” bulletin board onto the easel. The player was deep in conversation with a friend, so I did not interview him or take his picture. Next time!

Paper signs on each door read “Dead Period, 3/13/09-3/14/09 for all Track and Field.”

My brother-in-law Dudley Poon brought his iMac so that we could hear the USC Women of Troy play ASU in the Pac-Ten Women’s Tournament at the Galen Center. The women beat the Sun Devils 69-67! The SID Office was closed since they and some staff upstairs went to see the game. What a Lucky Day, so far!

Some “old friends” came by the Heritage desk. Men’s volleyball player Austin Zahn, student worker Lonnie, photographer Dan Avila, and Ron Orr came by to say “Hello.” Coaches Andrea Gaston, Brandon Martin, Terrel Ray, and Rocky Seto, who always greets us with a big smile, came to the desk. Some took treats; others just came to say “Hello.”

I found out that the football team had a “Spring Olympics” at 6:00 am this morning. The players competed in dips, threw balls, and had relays where they ran with one, two, three and then four weights on their legs. The Defense came from behind to beat the Offense! What a Lucky Day for the USC Defense!

I left at 3:00 pm but the Lucky Day was not over. Our USC Men’s Basketball team clobbered the UCLA Bruins 65-55 in the second round of the Pac-Ten tournament at the Staples Center!

What a memorable and LUCKY Friday the 13th!!!

March 6, 2009---Always New Friends at Heritage Hall!

Friday was very quiet for a while. Then, many “old friends” dropped by at the Heritage Hall desk.

Alicia Robinson, who with a big smile, took some gum. Dan Avila, whose eyes opened wide when I showed him the 3/4/09 Daily News half-page color picture of O.J. Mayo on its front page, told me that the L.A. Times is a Bruin newspaper! Dan took his favorite Lindt chocolate and some 100 calorie snacks. Jordan Cohen, who eyed the 100 calorie snack bags, but then said as he rolled his eyes, “Oooooh, guess not!” Mamadou Diarra came by twice and took his favorites---Airheads and Nerds. Michael Sylvester, who has contact with 200 USC athletes in his Athletes in Action, stopped by to talk but took no candy. Coach Terrel Ray also stopped by to talk. Coach Ray and I hoped that a tight end would send a fax today to commit to USC, but the recruit mistakenly committed to Georgia. Finally Anniya Louis, who is on the Women of Troy Track Team, stopped by and took some gum and a 100 calorie snack bag. Anniya said that she is an “old friend.” Indeed, she is!!

I met several new friends.

Lonnie, who works upstairs for Brandon Martin, came to visit for the first time. He likes the 100 calorie snacks. Lonnie is a sophomore majoring in International Relations. I told Lonnie to visit every Friday! Fight On, Lonnie!

Averell SpicerThere were several tours from Macy Middle School in Monterey Park. The Macy Knights took posters in droves. Whew! The desk was surrounded with posters being rolled and rubber bands being distributed. Each one of the students said, “Thank you!” There may be future Trojans among them!!

One new Trojan football player came by the desk for the first time. Averell Spicer, whose number is 99, let me take his picture by one of the seven Heisman trophies. Averell is a red-shirt Senior defensive back from Rancho Cucamonga. He is a Sociology major. I asked him if there was anything else that he wants me to write about him. He said that he tries to be a genuinely NICE person. Averell is already that!! Fight On, Averell!!

February 27, 2009---So many Old Friends and so many New Friends!

The Heritage Hall desk was busy from the moment I arrived until the moment I left.

First, the New Friends.

Guilbert HentschkeThe former Dean of the Rossier School of Education, Guilbert Hentschke, helped me lift the giant bulletin board onto the easel. This board lists all the upcoming weekly events for every USC sport. Professor Hentschke read the board and, with a big smile, came over to talk with me. I told him that my sister Pat and I both graduated from the School of Education. He said that he teaches two classes now...Economics of Education and Education in a Globalized World. Professor Hentschke promised to come back to Heritage to visit.

Eva OrbanA few minutes later, Eva Orban, a Senior majoring in Economics, came by the desk. She throws the hammer on the USC Track and Field Team. Eva is from Papa, Hungary, and she wants to stay in the U.S. after she graduates. I took her picture by the Lexus Gauntlet trophy since the Women of Troy beat the Lady Bruins in last year’s track and field meet. Five big points!!! Fight On, Eva!

Trojan Candy and Paul McDonaldTo my amazement, I looked up and saw Paul McDonald! I waved to him to come over to the desk, but he was busy with three other men. He smiled and waved as he walked out the door. Luckily, he came back later to Heritage. This time, I was able to take his picture, and my brother-in-law Dudley took our picture. He is so fit and trim and what a smile! Paul told me that he was here with Brad Budde to help plan an event to honor the 1978 National Championship football team. Proceeds will also benefit Eric’s Vision, a foundation established by Eric Scoggins, who passed away in January from ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Jim Hill rushed by with a cameraman not too far behind....

Jacki Gemelos came by three times, and on the third time I was finally able to take her picture. Jacki is a red-shirt junior on the Women of Troy Basketball team. She is from Stockton, CA, and is majoring in Sociology. We’ll see Jacki every Friday since she works for Mike Garrett’s secretary, Danielle Martinez. Fight On, Jacki!

Dan Orr and Austin ZahnAustin Zahn, the middle blocker on our Men’s Volleyball team, almost walked by us without stopping, until my sister Pat called out to him. A gentleman, who just happened to be standing at the desk reading the D.T., turned around to talk to Austin. The man was Dan Orr. Dan was a hitter on the first USC Men’s Volleyball team in 1971. Dan and Austin spoke for a short time. I took their picture, but it appears to be looking up. Both men are so tall, and I am so short! Austin is a Sophomore majoring in P.P.D.-Public Policy and Development. He is from Hermosa Beach. Sour Punches are his favorite. Fight On, Austin!

Our other new friend is Dan Orr. Dan is a business major who lives in Coronado now. He works for the Community Bank in Community Relations and Business Development. He told me how he met his fellow Trojan wife, Cathy Carson. It was not at USC but at an IBM Women in Sales office. Their two desks were side-by-side. Cathy was a tennis player at USC. Both of their daughters graduated from USC. What a family of Trojans!

Secondly, the Old Friends.

Charles White came to take a piece of chocolate, David Canales waved, Ron Orr walked by with a smile, Camille Lenoir smiled and took a Rice Krispie Bar, and Omari Crittenden came by for the second week in a row. Omari likes Nerds, Trident gum, Doublemint gum, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Surprisingly, he didn’t take a Sour Punch or Airhead!

February 20, 2009---Good Luck, Amy!

As I was pulling my cart that is full of chocolates, candy, 100 calorie treats, and gum, I saw Daniel Hackett walk by. His long legs sure do cover a lot of sidewalk quickly! He was beyond me so fast, I could not call out his name to say hello. More about Daniel later....

The weather was beautiful today! Sunny, cool, just gorgeous. Unfortunately, I was inside all the time at the Heritage Hall desk. The L.A. Times sports writer, Gary Klein, who covers USC football, was inside nearby all the time. He was looking for players or coaches to interview.

A tight-end football recruit from Georgia came on his official visit today. His mom came also. Three coaches accompanied him in and around Heritage Hall. Hopefully, the weather will be a big factor in his decision to commit to USC!

Basketball coach Rudy Hackett came to visit. He took Harry and David chocolates. Just then, his son Daniel walked by the desk, smiled, waved, and continued downstairs.

My long-time friend Mamadou Diarra stopped by to visit. This time he took grape and strawberry Nerds. Always so nice to “look up” to him!

Forel DaviesTwo new athletes came to the desk for the first time today. Women’s Water Polo player Forel Davies, who is from San Diego, was the first one. She is a Junior majoring in Communication. Forel told me that there are 50 women on the roster and that 20 women train year round downstairs. She said that she started out as a swimmer when she was young but that she got bored of swimming. She chose water polo since it was more competitive. I told her that I expect our women to win a national championship this season! Forel smiled and said that the team has the same goal! Fight On, Forel and Fight On, Women of Troy!

Omari CrittendenThe second athlete who came to the desk for the first time was Omari Crittenden. Omari is a true “Student athlete.” He is a walk-on Junior cornerback from Sacramento. Omari is majoring in Industrial Systems Engineering. He told me that his workload is difficult because there are so many labs with his classes. STUDY and Fight On, Omari!

My friend David Canales came down from the football office to visit again. Since he has been hired as an Offensive Administrative Assistant in Football, he has come down to visit every Friday.

The last visitor to the Heritage Hall desk was Amy Rodriguez. She told me that she was moving out today. Amy was the #1 draft pick and will be going on to play professional soccer. Amy said that she will return to USC when her playing days are over to finish her studies. Fight On, Amy!

February 13, 2009---The Heritage Hall desk changed location!

The Heritage Hall desk was moved back to its original location! More athletes pass by the desk now on their way to the workout rooms in the basement.

A few friends dropped by the desk. I had Valentine chocolate candy and cookies. Coach Terrel Ray, David Canales, Alex Stepheson, Belen Mozo and Coach Andrea Gaston. Band Director Tony Fox walked by Heritage on his way to an appointment. He couldn’t come inside but did bemoan the fact that our Men’s basketball team lost to Arizona last night. We can always defeat Arizona State on Sunday!! Fight On Men’s basketball!

Two new friends came to the desk.

Stenn PartonStenn Parton is the Captain of the Men’s Track and Field team. Stenn throws the javelin. He’s from Santa Barbara and is a 5th year Senior majoring in Real Estate Development. Stenn took a Kit-Kat. Now, I know what he likes! After I took his picture, he gave me a BIG hug! Then, he looked at my business card, smiled..., and realized the double entendre in Trojancandy.com! What a charming new friend! Fight On, Stenn!

Shareece WrightOur other new friend was Shareece Wright. Shareece, from Colton, is a Junior majoring in Sociology. He is cornerback on our #1 defense. Shareece took a Sour Punch and an Air Head. Why do so many football players like Air Heads? Fight On, Shareece!

It was raining as I walked back to my car to go home. The campus was empty! Perhaps it was the rain, but most likely the students all left campus to enjoy the three day holiday weekend. Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy President’s Day!

February 6, 2009---Do Canadians like CSI?

Terrel ReyHeritage Hall was pretty quiet today. There were several tours from Jefferson Middle School. Then, an old friend came by the desk. Coach Terrel Rey normally just says hello and hurries off. Today, he stopped for an extended chat. Coach Ray is the Administrative Advisor for USC football. His job is to check classes, talk to professors, and mentor students. He is the liaison between the coaches and the Student Athlete Academic Services. To our surprise, he is a retired teacher (coach) from the Los Angeles Unified School District. My sister Pat and I are both retired from LAUSD. Coach Rey taught for 26 years as a coach at Crenshaw, Fremont, and Fairfax High Schools. He is a USC football alumnus who graduated in 1969. Coach Ray played defensive back under Coach John McKay. He’s been associated with two phenomenal USC coaches!!! Fight On, Coach Ray!!!

Public Safety Officer James came to the Heritage desk to get posters. He told me that he passes the posters out at his desk at the new business offices located at 3434 Grand Ave. I told him to come back to visit every Friday and I’ll keep him well supplied!

Trey HendersonI have a new football friend! Trey Henderson came by the desk for the first time. When he reached for a D.T. I asked if he was a football player. He smiled, nodded his head, and said, “Yes, I’m a defensive end.” Naturally, I offered him whatever he wanted. Trey took a sour punch Air Head, a lollipop, and a Bubblicious gum. Why do so many football players like Air Heads...? Trey is a sophomore who is majoring in Social Sciences and Criminal Psychology. He wants to be a Clinical Profiler! My sister Pat asked, “Like in CSI?” He said, “Yes” with a youthful smile. Trey told us that he is from Vancouver, British Columbia. After he left, I looked at the Football Media Guide in the desk drawer. The Guide said that Trey is believed to be the first Canadian player offered a scholarship to play football at USC. Fight On, Trey!!!

Andrea GastonThe last person to come by the desk before I packed up to leave to go to the USC-BYU men’s volleyball game was USC Women’s National Championship Coach, Andrea Gaston. She took some Ghirardelli chocolate and some M & Ms. She told me that the team practices at three different golf courses and that they are going to play in a Palos Verdes tournament this weekend. I wished her Good Luck!! Fight On, Women of Troy Golf!!!!!

January 30, 2009---Rey and Women Golfers

Rey MaualugaAs soon as I arrived at Heritage Hall today, I saw eight football players come into the lobby. They were all drenched since they had just worked out downstairs. Rey Maualuga, wearing a head band, was one of them. I took a picture of him and wished him good luck in the upcoming NFL Draft. He thanked me. I later saw Rey with some women golfers and with Coach Ken Norton. The two of them spoke outside for 10 minutes.

Speaking of outside, Demar DeRozan and Alex Stephenson walked by Heritage together just as they had done last night leaving the Galen Center after the Stanford basketball game. Trojan friendships are life long!

Coaches everywhere! Every football coach was congregated on the west patio to greet a very important recruit. He came to USC today for his campus visit. I saw Coach Ken Norton walk through the lobby with the recruit. The recruit must know that USC is his best and ONLY choice!

Allie Rowe, Belen Mozo, and Victoria AlimondaWoman’s golf team coach Andrea Gaston came by the Heritage desk to visit. I congratulated her on her second NCAA championship. As I was about to take her picture, she spotted two of her golfers and a fellow co-worker. Coach asked the two players to come over for a picture with her. Rey Maualuga had just walked up the stairs with them. The players were Victoria Alimonda and Belen Mozo. Both players are International Relations majors. The co-worker is Allie Rowe. As you can see in the picture, they all have a “sweet tooth!”

Allison Jaskowiak-Kennedy

As I was packing up to leave, Allison Jaskowiak-Kennedy came by the desk. Allie played on the Women of Troy Basketball team for four years. If you go to the Women’s games, you’ll see her in the pre-game video bringing down the deciding rebound in their win over the Women Bruins. In 2008, she was awarded the Pac-10 Medal for her performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership. Allison told us that she is interning upstairs in the Administration Office and is a post-secondary student majoring in Athletic Administration. I told her that she would be an Athletic Director some day! Fight On, Allison!

January 23, 2009---Matt Barkley

Today started out wet and dreary...then Heritage Hall livened up!

David CanalesOur new Offensive Administrative Assistant, David Canales, came by the desk for the first time. He likes Big Red gum! David was a wide receiver at Azusa Pacific and a former El Camino College Assistant. I told David to visit every Friday. Welcome and Fight On, David!

Coach Pete Carroll was in and out of the Heritage Hall lobby several times. He was talking to L.A. Times reporter Gary Klein. Then he signed an 8 year old fan’s jersey. The boy’s father told me that the jersey will be “sacred” now. Then Coach Carroll walked by with a three coach entourage. As Coach walked by, he said, “Hey, Guys” to us. Finally, Coach Carroll greeted the seven football recruits who were on their official recruiting trip to USC. What a hard working coach!

Matt BarkleyAbout recruits, one recruit who committed to USC early is Matt Barkley. An Orange County Register reporter interviewed Matt in the Heritage lobby and Armando Brown, a photographer for the Orange County Register, took several pictures of Matt outside of Heritage. I overheard Matt saying to the reporter, “I always wanted to go to USC.” We’re so glad that you’re here, Matt!! Tim Tessalone, the USC Sports Information Director, who accompanied Matt to the interview, allowed me to go outside with the photographer and take pictures of Matt too. A Trojan Candy exclusive!!! While we were outside, Tim Tessalone picked up Matt’s backpack. Tim then said, “This is heavy, got a lot of books inside?” Of course, he does! Matt is already enrolled and taking classes at USC.

After the interview, I briefly spoke with the Orange County Register reporter Dan Albano. I asked Dan if Matt was nice. Dan said that he was REALLY NICE!! Naturally, he is a Trojan!!

Armando BrownPhotographer Armando Brown is a USC alumnus. He majored in History and took classes in the Film School. While at USC, he worked as a photographer for the D.T. for two years and has worked at the Orange County Register for five years. Armando has photographed several movie and sports stars. He also teaches a photo journalism class in the Annenberg School every fall. Fight on, Armando!

Our friend Joe Houston came by the desk twice. He is a Junior majoring in sociology. After he graduates Joe wants to become a commercial pilot and attend aviation school in San Diego. Joe will make the football fly as a place kicker next year, and then he will fly a plane as a profession. I admired Joe’s black Rose Bowl backpack. What a team souvenir from the Rose Bowl! Fight and Fly on, Joe!

The last visitors were Coach Terrel Ray and Ken Norton. Coach Norton took a trademark lollipop and Dove chocolate.

I cleaned up and went to see the USC men’s volleyball team beat Stanford 3-0. Fight On!!!

January 16, 2009---Happy New Year!!!

I'm back volunteering at Heritage Hall. It was bustling today.

Congratulations to our victorius Trojans on their Rose Bowl victory! FIGHT ON!

Taylor MaysTalking about the Rose Bowl, the first visitor at the Heritage Hall desk was Charles White. He came by on his way to exercise. Yes, he is still in tip-top shape! He autographed a mini-football helmet for my sister Pat. Just then, Taylor Mays came to the desk. Immediately, I thanked him for staying. Taylor, with a big smile, told us, “It’s because you're so nice to me!” Wow! We were overwhelmed! If we are the primary reason for him staying at USC and postponing the NFL for one more year, then his secondary reason for staying must be to win the BCS National Championship in 2010!!! Fight On Taylor!

There was a Swim with Mike meeting in the Varsity Lounge, various tours and some recruits on their official visits. Eight young men toured the lobby. One had on a Speedo shirt, so I guessed that they were water polo recruits. Two young ladies came by on their official recruiting trips. One of them plays basketball, volleyball and softball. The other is a long distance runner who came from Long Island. Her father actually came to the desk and spoke with us for several minutes. He said that his daughter loves Los Angeles! He is a Captain in the Long Island Fire Department. Some of his colleagues helped with the recent Hudson River plane crash, and he was there for 9/11. Just then, his daughter, accompanied by a coach, came to the desk and asked for a piece of candy. The coach pulled her back, empty handed! He said that he would do that to all track members when they are in training.

Ron AlliceAs for track, Coach Ron Allice came by to say hello and to bring the 130 co-ed members of his track team to Heritage Hall for their media pictures.

Liz Gill and Anniya LouisThe first two track members to come to Heritage were two young women team members. Liz Gill is a Senior Print Journalism major from Northern California. She runs the 5K and 10K. Anniya Louis is a Freshman Psychology major from Los Angeles. She runs the 800 meter. Fight On, Liz and Anniya! Fight On, all of our track team!!

Dan AvilaTalking about pictures, the photographer taking all the track and field pictures was Dan Avila. I see him at all USC athletic events. Dan is a USC alum, Class of 1972. He majored in Recreation Adminstration and worked under Don Ludwig in the Recreation Department for 10 years. He started out as an unofficial photographer and has been the official USC sports photographer for 20 years. Dan does not own a car. He bicycles to campus and the Coliseum for shoots. A little known fact about Dan is that he is a very successful TV game contestant. He has won money on Joker’s Wild, Break the Bank, Sale of the Century, Greed, Jeopardy, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Fight On, Dan!