February 2012 (2) Candygrams

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Saturday, February 25, 2012---Women of Troy Basketball Senior Salute

The Galen Center was filled with excitement and anxiety. It was the Senior Salute Game for five Women of Troy Basketball Players. The Seniors---Michelle Jenkins, Ashley Corral, Jacki Gemelos, Stefanie Gilbreath, and Briana Gilbreath---must have been excited to walk out onto the court with their families and to receive their framed jerseys. Anxiety also filled the arena. It was the last home game for the five Seniors. Also, the opponents were the Arizona State Sun Devils, who were a half game behind our Women of Troy in the Pac-12 standings.

Trojan Candy was fortunate to be able to take pictures of each Senior with her family. It has been a pleasure to get to know each young lady, up close and personal, and to watch their talents on the court.

Michelle Jenkins
Michelle with her parents (Brian and Kim)
Ashley Corral
Ashley with her parents (Art and Hala), a sister (Heather?), Michael Cooper, and Donna Heinel
Jacki Gemelos
Jacki with her parents (Linda and Steve)
Stefanie and Briana Gilbreath
Stefanie and Briana with their parents (Wardell and Audrey)
Women of Troy Basketball Seniors
Stefanie, Briana, Ashley, Jacki, and Michelle

As for the game, our women opened up with an 11-0 run. ASU slowly came back and actually led by eight points in the opening minutes of the second half. The entire second half was tense. What was at stake? Third place in the Pac-12, a first game bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, and a possible NCAA berth!

The excitement grew with each basket that our women scored in the second half. It climaxed when our Women of Troy took the lead for good. We won 59-53! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

After the victory, Trojan Candy ran out on the court as the Basketball Band marched out. The band encircled the team. There was chaos in the circle! I managed to take a few posed pictures, but the team was dancing, jumping, running around...pure joy and excitement! It's so great to be a TROJAN!

Michelle Jenkins, Ashley Corral, and Jacki Gemelos
Michelle, Ashley, and Jacki
Desiree' Bradley and Thaddesia Southall
Desiree' Bradley and Thaddesia Southall (2/3/2012)
Kate Oliver, Christina Marinacci, Cassie Harberts, and Stefanie Gilbreath
Christina Marinacci and Cassie Harberts with Kate Oliver and Stefanie in the background
Ariya Crook flanked by Stefanie and Briana Gilbreath
Ariya Crook flanked by Stefanie and Briana
Joy and Excitement
Joy and Excitement!!!

February 23, 2012---Practice Makes Perfect, and Victories Follow!

Zoe ScandalisMy husband Jim and I arrived at the Marks Tennis Stadium to see the very end of the doubles play between the Women of Troy and U.C. Santa Barbara. The match had started at 1:30 p.m. The Women of Troy won all three doubles sets, so we were ahead 1-0. As we waited for the singles play to begin, we munched on the "free" delicious pizza. The cheese, pepperoni and sausage pizza boxes were stacked on a table. More than enough to feed everyone in the stadium! Thanks!

During the tennis match with our women leading 3-0, Trojan Candy noticed that the Men's Tennis Team was practicing on the tennis practice courts adjacent to the baseball stadium. I could also hear the baseball team practicing in Dedeaux Field and a periodic horn blowing emanating from Howard Jones Field. Trojan Candy just had to visit one of these sites, and I did! After all, practice makes perfect! And practice leads to USC Victories!

Baseball practiceBaseball practiceI walked into Dedeaux Field and took pictures of the baseball team practicing on the field and taking batting practice at home plate. Our team is undefeated and improving! Practice makes perfect, and victories follow! FIGHT ON, USC Baseball Team!

Then, I left Dedeaux Field, walked down the ramp, and went on to Howard Jones Field. Standing outside of the field, Trojan Candy could hear a horn, whistles, movement and clapping. Yes, our football team was doing off-season workouts inside. Remember: Practice makes perfect, and victories follow! FIGHT ON to VICTORY, USC Football Team!

Reggie WyattMy husband left the tennis match around 5:00 p.m. and met me outside of the Howard Jones Field. We saw Abe Markowitz walk out the gate, and Reggie Wyatt carrying his new shoes. Reggie said that he was awarded some certificates also. Congrats, Reggie!

We arrived at the McDonald's Olympic Swim Stadium around 5:20 p.m. Our USC Women's Water Polo Team was leading Hawaii 3-2. Trojan Candy took some pictures at pool level. Then, I went upstairs to join my husband to watch the women go on to win 12-6. Congratulations! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Water Polo Team!

As the water polo match was going on, the USC Swimming and Diving Team was practicing. Remember, practice makes perfect and victories follow! FIGHT ON, Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Team!

Coach Vavic with the team
Coach Vavic showing another play
Another USC goal!
Another USC goal!
Swim team practicing
Swim team practicing

Women of Troy break huddleAfter the Women of Troy Water Polo victory, we drove over to the Galen Center to attend the Women of Troy Basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats. The game was close at first, but our women fought on to victory! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

Let's not forget our Women of Troy Tennis Team. They swept U.C. Santa Barbara, 7-0. FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Tennis!

What an exciting and victorious day at USC! It's great to be a Trojan!

February 23, 2012---They Came in Droves!

As my husband Jim and I walked by the John McKay Center construction site, we noticed the concrete wall that is being built on the west and south sides of the field in front of the Center. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be any progress on the outside of the McKay Center since last week. Today's pictures of the three wings of the McKay Center can be viewed in my slide show by clicking McKay Center in the menu at the beginning. Perhaps the other workers are inside the McKay Center.

West Wall of the McKay Center
Construction on the inside of the West Wall of the field in front of the McKay Center.
West Wall of the McKay Center
You can see the right half of two long white walls. Between these walls will be trees and plants. On the other side will be an inclined ramp for wheelchair access.
East end of the field of the McKay Center
You can see the entire area for trees and plants at the east end of the field of the McKay Center (in front of the green fence).

Six new friends came to the Heritage Hall desk for the first time. Many "old" friends stopped by the desk to visit. They came in droves. The desk was either very quiet or incredibly busy.

Frankie TelfortThe first new friend has been to the desk before. Trojan Candy was able to interview him finally. Frankie Telfort works as a Student Assistant in Football Operations. He played Outside Line Backer in high school. Frankie, who is from Miami, is majoring in Kinesiology and Pre-Med. He is quite an artist in many media. Frankie wrote that he likes to write songs, draw, and paint. His favorite subjects are people and animals. His style is surrealism or contrasting. Trojan Candy would like to see and hear some of his art one day. FIGHT ON, Frankie!

Jackie OwensJunior Jackie Owens competes on the Women of Troy Tennis Team. She told me that she started learning to play tennis and basketball when she was three years old. Jackie, who is from Maui, Hawaii, is majoring in Communications. She loves to surf but hasn't tried it in Los Angeles, because she said that the ocean water is too cold here. Jackie had to run off, because the Women of Troy had to play U.C. Santa Barbara at 1:00 p.m. today. FIGHT ON, Jackie!

Jennifer StutlandFriend Caroline Lutzky brought Trojan Candy's third new friend to the desk. Junior Jennifer Stutland competes with Caroline on the USC Track Team. She competes in the High Jump. Jennifer is majoring in Business. She has many hobbies ... painting, cooking, hiking and "ballin' & shot callin'!" Jennifer said that she creates "little paintings" and cooks "healthy, easy" dishes. When I asked her about "ballin' & callin'", Jennifer smiled and said that she was just joking. Thanks, Caroline, for the new friend! FIGHT ON, Jennifer!

Tamara KliotMy fourth new friend is Senior Tamara Kliot. She works downstairs with Football, Soccer and Crew. Tamara, who is from Seattle, is majoring in Health and Humanity. Her hobbies are running, waterskiing and snow skiing. When I asked her if she had any favorite music or movies, Tamara said that she will "watch anything" and "listen to anything." Tamara said that after graduation in May, she will be doing Teach for America in New Orleans, where she will teach math or science in grades 6-12. A future teacher! FIGHT ON, Tamara!

Dominique ScottShe walked in the door, and I recognized her face. She is on the Women of Troy Basketball Team. Junior Dominique Scott plays Power Forward/Center, and she just transferred to USC in January from Pasadena City College. Dominique, who is from Los Angeles, is majoring in Human Performance. She likes to cook (like Jennifer!) and to listen to R & B music. FIGHT ON, Dominique!

Davonte StewartFreshman Davonte Stewart walked in with a drove of fellow track teammates. Davonte is from Rancho Cucamonga and is majoring in Communication. He competes in the 100 m and 200 m sprints. For hobbies, Davonte likes to cook (perhaps he should share recipes with Jennifer and Dominique.) and to bake. (Wow! He'll make a fabulous husband one day!) Davonte's favorite singer is Drake. FIGHT ON, Davonte!

Seen at the SCene:

Heritage Hall Friends: Maya Shemesh, Jillian Giannini, J.K. McKay, Ron Orr, Sara Kalemkianan, Zade Shakir, Don Ludwig, Drew Morcos, Craig Kelley (all dressed up in a suit!), Bhupinder Singh

Coaches: Soccer: Ali Khosroshahim; Women's Basketball: Michael Cooper; Lacrosse: Hiliary Bowen, Devon Wills; Football: James Cregg, Monte Kiffin, Justin Mesa, Ed Orgeron, Scott Thompson, John Baxter, Kennedy Polamalu

Rowing: Magdalena Janicka, Katherine Wittig

Women's Golf: Doris Chen

Soccer: Kristina Noriega (She told Trojan Candy that she may need surgery. If so, get well quick, Kristina!), Erica Vangsness

Women's Basketball: Alexyz Vaioletama, Kiki Alofaituli, Thaddesia Southall

Football: Randall Telfer, Nickell Robey, Antwaun Walker, Anthony Brown, Simione Vehikite, Marqise Lee, T.J. Bryant, Hayes Pullard, Zack Kusnir, T.J. McDonald, Jesse Scroggins. Demetrius Wright, Tony Burnette, Josh Shaw, John Manoogian, J.R. Tavai, Andre Heidari, Lamar Dawson, Dion Bailey, Robert Woods, Kevin Greene, Victor Blackwell, Tyler Grady, Cyrus Hobbi, Junior Pomee, Matt Barkley

Track and Field: Lauren Chambers, Alitta Boyd, Caroline Lutzky, Jenna Puterbaugh, Loudia Laarman, Reggie Wyatt, Allen Williams, Josh Mance, Terence Abram, Trey Henderson, Myles Andrews, Bryshon Nellum, Cookie Ndipagbor

Normally, my husband and I would go home around 3:00 p.m., but today we packed up, walked to our car to unload, and went to see the Women of Troy Tennis Team play U.C. Santa Barbara.

February 19, 2012---Women of Troy Fight On to Victory and Honor Pam and Paula McGee!

Women of Troy in pinkThe Women of Troy Basketball Team wore pink uniforms in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Their opponents, the UCLA Lady Bruins, wore pink headbands.

There were many former Women of Troy basketball alumnae sitting courtside. Everyone in the Galen Center came to honor Pam and Paula McGee.

At halftime, Pam and Paula walked onto the court. Their framed uniforms were presented to them, and their banners were uncovered along side the banners of Cheryl Miller, Lisa Leslie and Cynthia Cooper. Their coach Linda Sharp flew in from Texas to join in the celebration. Former teammates joined Pam and Paula on the court. They were Cheryl Miller, Rhonda Windham (who is currently enrolled in graduate school at USC), Jamaiia Bond, Tracy Longo, LeeAnne Sera, Juliette Robinson and Yolanda Fletcher. Several other basketball alumnae, including Lisa Leslie, joined the celebration at mid-court. FIGHT ON, 1983 and 1984 Women of Troy NCAA Champions!

Video Screen
Pam and Paula shown on the video screen
McGee Teammates
Teammates join McGee twins on the court
McGee banners
Pam's and Paula's banners are displayed
Cheryl Miller, Pam McGee, Bill Sharman, Paula McGee, and Michael Cooper
Cheryl Miller, Pam McGee, Bill Sharman, Paula McGee, and Michael Cooper
Linda Sharp and grandnephew
Linda Sharp and grandnephew

Women of Troy won!Now, about the game. Briana Gilbreath told Trojan Candy that Pam and Paula addressed the team in the locker room before the game. Their presence definitely had an effect! The Bruins scored first in the game, and that was the only time they led at 2-0. Our Women of Troy led by as much as 23 points and went on to beat the Lady Bruins 66-54! Cheryl Miller spoke with each team member on the court after the victory. We swept the Bruins this season! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

After the victory, Trojan Candy and husband Jim went to the Founder's Room to join the Women of Troy and the USC Black Alumni Association in honoring Pam and Paula McGee at a reception. The Spirit of Troy led us in. The room was packed with excitement. The food and desserts were delectable! There were several distinguished speakers. Coach Linda Sharp said that, "Pam and Paula were a blessing. I was the lucky coach that got to coach them." Pam and Paula spoke about precious memories at USC. Then, Cheryl Miller addressed the audience with the story of how the twins recruited her. Raucous enthusiasm and laughter! FIGHT ON, Cheryl! FIGHT ON, Pam! FIGHT ON, Paula!

Pam McGee
Pam McGee
Paula McGee
Paula McGee
Rhonda Windham
Rhonda Windham
Cheryl Miller and Tracy Longo
Cheryl Miller and Tracy Longo
LeeAnne Sera, Tammy Story, Jamaiia Bond, Tracy Longo
LeeAnne Sera, Tammy Story, Jamaiia Bond, Tracy Longo
Pam McGee, Diane Watson, and Paula McGee
Former Congresswoman Diane Watson read 33rd District Representative Karen Bass's recognition of Pam and Paula in Congress on February 14, 2012
Linda Sharp
Linda Sharp spoke about how surprised she was when she learned that Pam and Paula decided to come to USC
Cheryl Miller
Cheryl Miller was candid about practices and her recruitment by Pam and Paula

Our current Women of Troy team came to the reception after they finished their autograph session in the lobby. Smiles were abundant...that's what beating the Bruins will do for you!

What a wonderful afternoon to be a Trojan!!!

February 17, 2012---The Gate Was Open!

As my husband Jim and I walked to Heritage Hall, we walked by the John McKay Center construction site. One of the gates was opened. So, Trojan Candy walked through the gate and took some street level pictures of the progress. There is so much progress being made every week.

West Wing of McKay Center
West Wing of McKay Center
Center of McKay Center
Center of McKay Center
East Wing of McKay Center
East Wing of McKay Center
West Wing and Center of McKay Center
Ground view of West Wing and Center of McKay Center
Columns along Loker Stadium
Ground view of workers working on columns along the south wall next to Loker Stadium
Columns along Loker Stadium
View of columns along the south wall from atop Loker Stadium

Swim with Mike VolunteersFive new friends came to the Heritage Hall desk for the first time. There was also a Swim with Mike meeting in the Lounge. When the meeting was over, photographer Dan Avila waited at the bottom of the Heritage Hall steps outside to take a picture of all the student volunteers. Naturally, yours truly was there getting the shot also!

Monica Marie ReasonThe first new friend was Monica Marie Reason. Trojan Candy met Monica's mom Sylvia and dad Earl at the Town and Gown meeting on February 7th. Her parents were at the meeting because Monica is a Town and Gown Scholar! Congratulations, Monica! From Los Angeles, Monica is a Freshman and is undecided in her major. However, she said that she will soon be a Communication Major with a Cinematic Arts Minor. For fun and exercise, Monica competes on the USC Quidditch Team! What an interesting sport inspired by the Harry Potter books. FIGHT ON, Monica!

Zade ShakirSophomore Zade Shakir is the second new friend. He is majoring in International Relations and in Pre-Med. With those two hard majors, Zade has also just become a Student Manager in football. He will work with the wide receivers or defensive backs. Zade, who is from San Jose, still finds time to write spoken word poetry. He has performed in Bovard, at BusBoys and Poets and at different universities across the U.S. Perhaps Trojan Candy can see him perform his art! FIGHT ON, Zade!

Alexis MooreTrojan Candy's third new friend walked swiftly by the desk and out the door. I was not about to let him get away. Basketball players, men and women, stay mainly at the Galen Center. I ran out after him and called out, Alexis! He turned around with a big smile on his face! Yes, he followed me back to the desk. Trojan Candy got him! Freshman Alexis Moore is from Long Beach (Another neighbor!). He is a Guard on the Men's Basketball Team and is majoring in Economics. Alexis said that he has one sister, Ciara. He likes to listen to hip-hop/house music. We had a lively discussion at the desk about Whitney Houston with my husband Jim, friend Sunny, Alexis and yours truly. I told Alexis how Jim and I were fortunate to see Whitney Houston perform live on Opening Night at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in August 1993. (She was fantastic!) Lastly, with another big smile on his face, Alexis said that he loves dogs! (Wonder if he has seen Hayes Pullard's dog?) FIGHT ON, Alexis!

Georgette HernandezThe fourth new friend was another athlete whose sport is located far from Heritage Hall. Junior Georgette Hernandez is from La Quinta, California. She played the Driver position on the Women of Troy Water Polo Team last season and wrote in my notebook (I remembered to bring it this week!) that she "...played as a Sophomore on the team...." and "(I am) taking a break to concentrate on school...." Georgette has majored in Kinesiology but is applying to the Roski Art School. She does ceramic work, drawing and design. In fact, Georgette was interviewed by Fox Sports Net Television for her art work at the Artletics Gallery last year. (Another USC Celebrity!) She showed Trojan Candy, on her cell phone, her latest work of art in progress. It is a ceramic Rhino head. She will place bullet shells around the head to make a statement about Poaching! Can't wait to see it! FIGHT ON, Georgette!

Erin KinsellaThe fifth and last new friend today was Erin Kinsella. She is from Chicago and is majoring in Global Health. Erin just got selected as a Student Athletic Trainer and will work downstairs. (Trojan Candy mainly stays upstairs at the desk and wonders what goes on downstairs!) Lucky, Erin! She likes to run and play soccer. Erin also likes to read. She is currently reading "The Hunger Games." FIGHT ON, Erin!

Seen at the SCene:

Heritage Hall Friends: Joyce, Sean Jordan, Irene Puentes, Jill Dennis, Chelsea Forte, Dr. Bryce Nelson, Dr. John Petruska, Sunny, Dave Tuttle, Darcy Couch, Dan Avila, Teresa Verbeck, Karen Bowman and her son Jordan, Haili Sun, Tim Tessalone, Mark Long, Donna Heinel

Football: Jeremy Galten, Dion Bailey, C.J. Gable, Nickell Robey, T.J. McDonald, J.R. Tavai, Morgan Breslin, Ryan Henderson, Kyle Negrete, Cody Temple, Marcus Martin, Jawanza Starling (told Trojan Candy that he will attend the baseball game tonight. He played baseball at USC as a Freshman), Abe Markowitz (who is flying to his cousin Tomasi Mariner's wedding this weekend. Tomasi plays for Kansas State.), Randall Telfer, T.J. Bryant, Simione Vehikite, Zack Kusnir

Soccer: Kristina Noriega wearing a walking boot (Get better soon!), Carly Butcher

Women's Basketball: Jacki Gemelos, Deanna Calhoun

Men's Basketball: Jordan Flatt

Women's Golf: Doris Chen

Rowers: Caroline Trawick, Erica Christianson

Men's Water Polo: Mace Rapsey

Track: Jessica Davis, Allen Williams, Kemi Olonade, Bryshon Nellum, Caroline Lutzky, Vanessa Jones, Loudia Laarman

Coaches: Football: Lane Kiffin, Lenny Vandermade, Scott Thompson, Ed Orgeron, Justin Mesa, Jim Davis; Lacrosse: Lindsey Munday, Hilary Bowen, Devon Wills; Track: Ron Allice; Women's Volleyball: Mick Haley