April 2014 (4) Candygrams

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Friday, April 18, 2014---Women of Troy Basketball Banquet

I have included pictures in my article mainly of the four Seniors on the team and of players who had family in attendance. All the other pictures will be in a Google Plus album. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ALBUM.

My husband Jim and I joyfully left the tennis stadium around 3:00 p.m. after our men's tennis team beat the Bruins 4-2. Normally, we would have stayed on campus, changed our clothes and gone to the Women's Basketball Banquet in the Galen Center at 5:30 p.m. But, we were both so tired from our 6:00 a.m. plane ride from San Francisco, we went home to rest.

Good thing we did rest. The basketball banquet was lively and engaging. Trojan Candy constantly walked around the Galen Center Founder's Room taking pictures of team members, athletic staff, parents, coaches and friends.

Dorothy, Cassie, and Craig Harberts
As Trojan Candy was taking a picture of the trophies that would be presented later, friend Cassie Harberts walked in the Founder's Room with her parents Dorothy and Craig.
Taja Edwards
My next picture is of our new coach Taja Edwards.
Cassie Harberts, Rachel Totten, and Kate Oliver
Walking around, I found two more Seniors (Rachel Totten and Kate Oliver) who had already arrived.

Robert, Rachel, and Debra TottenSenior Rachel Totten posed with her dad Robert and mom Debra. Rachel told Trojan Candy that she has been accepted to the USC Law School. Her dad told me that she also received a scholarship. Another Brilliant Woman of Troy! Congrats and FIGHT ON, Rachel!

Cassie HarbertsTrojan Candy finally was able to interview Cassie Harberts. I have known her for four years, taken many pictures of her, but was never able to interview her before.

Here is Cassie, up close and personal. In elementary school, Cassie played soccer, and she did tap dancing and jazz. She started playing basketball in middle school. Cassie told me that she only started playing because her friends told her, "You're tall....you should play basketball!" So, she did! Now, Cassie still likes to dance...Line Dance. Her favorite books are A Lot to Remember and Christmas by Francine Rivers. Cassie said that she likes to make desserts, such as brownies, and that she loves Mexican food. She has finished all of her graduation requirements except for one exam, so she will be off next week to training camp with her new WNBA team, Atlanta Dream. Cassie will be united with her former USC Coach, Michael Cooper, in Atlanta. Congrats and FIGHT ON, Cassie!

Desiree' BradleyThe fourth Women of Troy Basketball Senior walked in the door with her arm in a sling. Desiree' Bradley told Trojan Candy that she just had surgery on her torn labrium. She said she has needed surgery ever since she started at USC, but that she kept putting it off. Thank goodness the surgery is over. Get Well Soon and FIGHT ON, Desiree'!

Kate OliverTrojan Candy was able to interview the fourth Senior. Kate Oliver was living in upstate New York, but she said that Southern California was just too appealing. She said that she likes to lie out in the sun and read. She likes comedies and electro-dance music. Kate said that her dad Mark played professional basketball in the Australian National Basketball League. She said that she would love to play on the Australian National Basketball Team when she returns home to Australia. Good luck on your dream and FIGHT ON, Kate!

Brianna Barrett, Jordan Adams, Kiki Alofaituli and Alexyz Vaioletama
Trojan Candy spotted four team members holding scrapbooks for the Seniors. They were Brianna Barrett, Jordan Adams, Kiki Alofaituli (8/4/2011) and Alexyz Vaioletama (6/23/2011).
Cynthia Cooper and Donna Heinel
Head Coach Cynthia Cooper and Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel posed for this nice picture.
Team with Wanda and Larry Jung
Trojan Candy then ran over to the entrance to get this team picture with friends Wandy and Larry Jung.

The next three pictures are of players and their moms.

Patricia and Kiki Alofaituli
Kiki Alofaituli posed with her mom Patricia. Patricia told Trojan Candy that Kiki has a sister in high school and a brother in the seventh grade. Two more future Trojans! FIGHT ON, Kiki!
Tonya and Brianna Barrett
Brianna Barrett posed with her mom Tonya. FIGHT ON, Brianna!
Jordan and Tausha Adams
Then, Jordan Adams posed with her mom Tausha. FIGHT ON, Jordan!

Jim Yee, Anna Adams, Anita Ybarra, Karen Trust, Lynda Coleman, Sandy and Rex Johnston, and Raymond and Eiko BatesNow, it was almost time for dinner. Trojan Candy took this picture of all my friends at my table. My husband Jim, Anna Adams, Anita Ybarra, Karen Trust, Lynda Coleman, Sandy Johnston (fellow TGLA member), Rex Johnston, and Raymond and Eiko Bates. FIGHT ON, my fellow Trojans!

Angela Williams and Ariya CrookAriya Crook (6/23/2011) finally sat down by her mom, so Trojan Candy went to their table to get a picture of Ariya and her mom Angela Williams. FIGHT ON, Ariya!

My next three pictures are also of team members and their families.

Stelios, Katherine, Brent, and Maria Kemiji-McDonaldMaria Kemiji-McDonald's family sat next to my table. Maria, like Desiree', just had surgery. She had ACL surgery. Maria posed with her brother Stelios, mom Katherine and father Brent. Get Well Soon and FIGHT ON, Maria!

Alex, Ruth, and Courtney Jaco and Janine and John TurkTrojan Candy walked to the other side of the room to take this picture of Courtney Jaco and her family. Dad Alex, step-Mom Ruth, Courtney, mom Janine Turk and step-dad John Turk. FIGHT ON, Courtney!

Jeff, Drew, and Stephanie EdelmanThe third picture is of Drew Edelman and her family. She posed with dad Jeff and mom Stephanie. FIGHT ON, Drew!

The dinner, as usual, was delicious. Then, the program began. Leland Waters and Donna Heinel spoke first. They gave introductions and recalled exciting moments during the season. Next, Coach Cynthia Cooper came to the podium. Kate Oliver, Cassie Harberts, Cynthia Cooper, Rachel Totten, and Desiree' Bradley She told the audience about many humorous team incidents that occurred during the season and recalled our unbelievable four victories in four days to win the first Pac-12 Tournament! Then Coach Cooper summoned her four Seniors to the podium and posed with them.

Kate Oliver, Cassie Harberts, Rachel Totten, and Desiree' BradleyEach of the four Seniors took turns at the microphone. They worked as a team for the last time. The ladies split responsibilities thanking the coaches, the staff and the athletic department support staff. Then, each Senior personally recalled fond memories and tearfully thanked their families for all their support.

Cassie Harberts, Brianna Barrett, Ariya Crook, Alexyz Vaioletama, and Kiki AlofaituliThe program ended with Coach Cooper awarding the trophies. Five trophies were awarded.

Drew Edelman and Rachel TottenA heart-warming video that our four Seniors produced was shown to trememdous smiles and chuckles!

Good Night!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!