October 2013 (2) Candygrams

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Monday, October 28, 2013---Our First Medallion

My sister Pat, brother-in-law Dudley, husband Jim, and I were given the honor to present the Heritage Hall Medallions to their well deserving owners. These medallions graced the staircases in Heritage Hall before the renovation.

Cynthia CooperPat, Dudley and I were honored to present the first Medallion to Women of Troy Basketball Coach, Cynthia Cooper, in her office. Her Medallion was adorned with the five Olympic Rings. With a tear in her eye, Coach Cynthia told us that on September 29, 1988, when she received her Gold Medal for Women's Basketball in the Seoul Olympics, she presented her Medal to her mother. It was her mother's birthday! What a gift! What a poignant memory! She was so happy to receive this medallion.

Coach Cynthia graciously posed for a picture in her office. Her interview will follow at a future date.

FIGHT ON, Coach Cynthia Cooper!

Sunday, October 27, 2013---USC Basketball's Tip-Off

Today is USC's Basketball's Tip-Off Day. When Trojan Candy walked to the South doors of the Galen Center, there was already a crowd gathered there. Everyone rushed in as soon as the doors opened up at 11:30 a.m.!

Trojan Candy went into the Arena first to get a good seat for the Women of Troy intrasquad scrimmage. The children ran to get in line for the free Wax Creation. After securing a seat, I went to the main lobby. It was a "mad-house"!

There was a long line to take pictures in front of a green screen and another long line to meet the Men's Basketball Team and pose for a picture with them.

Strahinja Gavrilovic, Chass Bryan, Brendyn Taylor, John Enomoto, Byron Wesley, Nikola Jovanovic, and Samer Dhillon
I took this picture of friend John Enomoto with Strahinja Gavrilovic (11/16/2012), Chass Bryan, Brendyn Taylor, Byron Wesley (9/1/2011), Nikola Jovanovic, and Samer Dhillon.
Song Girls and Pep Squad
There was free popcorn and shooting baskets for the kids. The Song Girls and Pep Squad came.
Dance Force
The Dance Force posed for yours truly.

Trojan Candy was in "heaven"...so many pictures to take! I took pictures of "old" friends and "new" ones.

Pe'Shon and Bill Howard with J.T. Terrell
I asked friend J.T. Terrell (4/9/2013) to pose with new friend Pe'Shon Howard and his dad Bill.
Strahinja Gavrilovic and Nikola Jovanovic
Then, Trojan Candy looked up and saw friend Strahinja Gavrilovic and a new friend Nikola Jovanovic. Both are from Serbia, and Strahinja told me that they knew one another before they came to USC.
Omar Oraby
Then, I REALLY looked up. There was friend Omar Oraby (10/11/2012). I told Omar that earlier this month I had just visited Rice University in Houston. Omar had transferred from Rice to USC.

Trojan Candy took three more pictures of friends and new players on the team.

Darion Clark and Katin Reinhardt
Darion Clark and Katin Reinhardt
Chass Bryan and Byron Wesley
Guards Chass Bryan and Byron Wesley
Daniel Munoz, Roschon Prince, and Kahlil Dukes
Daniel Munoz, Roschon Prince, and Kahlil Dukes

Now it was time for the Women of Troy scrimmage. The ladies warmed up, and then, Coach Cynthia Cooper addressed the fans IN THIS VIDEO. Their twenty minutes scrimmage was fast, and the two teams played one another "tough"! Bring on the season! FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

Dorothy and Cassie HarbertsBefore the Men's scrimmage, friend Cassie Harberts came into the stands and presented her mother Dorothy with a bouquet of flowers for her birthday. Happy Birthday, Dorothy!

It was the men's turn next. J.T. Terrell and Katin Reinhardt competed in a 3-point shoot-off. Katin made more three pointers than J.T. After that competition, the guys warmed up briefly and then played their twenty minutes scrimmage at "break-neck" speed. There were plenty of dunks! CLICK HERE for a very short video clip. Bring on the season! FIGHT ON, USC Men's Basketball!

After the men's scrimmage, all the fans were invited to an autograph session in the Founder's Room. Trojan Candy managed to "sneak in" and take these pictures of both the Women's and Men's teams before the session started.

Drew Edelman and Maria Kemiji-McDonald
Here are Forwards Drew Edelman and Maria Kemiji-McDonald.
Rachel Totten and Kate Oliver
Here are Seniors Rachel Totten and Kate Oliver.
Alexyz Vaioletama and Kiki Alofaituli
Here are Juniors Alexyz Vaioletama (6/23/2011) and Kiki Alofaituli (8/4/2011).
Alexis Lloyd and Jordan Adams
Here are Guards Alexis Lloyd and Jordan Adams.
Brianna Barrett and Kaneisha Horn
Brianna Barrett was next to Kaneisha Horn.
Courtney Jaco and Deanna Calhoun
Courtney Jaco sat next to Deanna Calhoun (6/23/2011).
Destinie Gibbs and Ariya Crook
Here are Guards Destinie Gibbs (9/27/2012) and Ariya Crook (6/23/2011).
Cassie Harberts and Desiree' Bradley
Seniors Cassie Harberts and Desiree' Bradley sat next to each other.
Maria Kemiji-McDonald and Cynthia Cooper
Maria Kemiji-McDonald posed with Coach Cynthia Cooper.
Pe'Shon Howard and Strahinja Gavrilovic
Pe'Shon Howard was next to Strahinja Gavrilovic.
Daniel Munoz and Omar Oraby
Daniel Munoz sat next to Omar Oraby.
Roschon Prince and Julian Jacobs
Roschon Prince was next to Julian Jacobs.
Kahlil Dukes and Samer Dhillon
Kahlil Dukes sat next to Samer Dhillon.
Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark
Here are Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark again.
Nikola Jovanovic and Katin Reinhardt
Nikola Jovanovic was on the other side of Katin Reinhardt.
D.J. Haley
This is Center D.J. Haley.
Chass Bryan and Byron Wesley
Here are Chass Bryan and Byron Wesley again.
Devon Pflueger
I photographed Guard Devon Pflueger by himself.

Brendyn Taylor and Chass BryanSorry, Brendyn, your picture in the Founder's Room was blurry. Here you are with Chass Bryan on 4/9/2103.

CLICK HERE to see more pictures of the Basketball Salute to Troy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013---Women of Troy Basketball Open Practice

Trojan Candy woke up way too early this morning to make it to the Women of Troy Basketball Open Practice. My husband Jim and I parked at the Coliseum first and rushed to the upstairs practice gym in the Galen Center. There was a continental breakfast for everyone. Yummy!

Shooting free throwspracticeThe bleachers at the north end of the court were filled with USC Women's Basketball family, fans, and boosters. Coach Cynthia Cooper ran an upbeat instructional practice that was FUN for the team.

To end the practice, each team member had to shoot a free throw. As each team member made her free throw, she would change her uniform jersey from cardinal to gold. If a player missed her free throw, the team would line up and run one of the lines. The pressure was quite intense! However, Coach Cooper added a wrinkle. If a player missed her free throw, she could ask her mother whether she could have a second chance or the team would run a line. It was fun listening to the ladies who missed plead to their Moms for a second chance. The earlier Moms chose to be lenient; the later ones were stricter. Finally, every player made a free throw.

Team huddle
Then, there was a team huddle to officially end the practice.
LeeAnne Sera, Melissa Ward, and Melissa's daughter
As fans were leaving the gym, Trojan Candy saw some familiar faces. LeeAnne Sera (11/9/2012) and Melissa Ward played on a championship team with Coach Cynthia.
LeeAnne Sera's family with Cynthia Cooper
Next, I took a picture of LeeAnne's family with Coach Cynthia.

I chatted with Cassie Harberts and Alexyz Vaioletama (6/23/2011). Alexyz told Trojan Candy that she is completely recovered from her injury. Thank goodness!

Brianna and Tonya Barrett
Then, Brianna Barrett and her mom Tonya said "Hello," and posed for me.
Jamie Funn and Percy Williams
As I was leaving, I took pictures of more friends. Basketball alumna Jamie Funn and Friend Percy Williams.

Tom Gresczyk and Pam McGee
Friend Tom Gresczyk and All-American basketball alumna Pam McGee.

Trojan Candy can't wait for the Women of Troy basketball season to begin!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!