March 2015 (2) Candygrams

Go Home

Previous pageNext page

Monday, March 30, 2015---USC Men's Basketball Banquet

The men's basketball banquet was more upbeat this year. Trojan Candy thinks that every one in attendance was still enjoying our victory over Arizona State in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

Nikola Jovanovic and Daniel MunozThe first team members whom I saw were Nikola Jovanovic (3/26/2014) and Daniel Munoz. Nikola seemed to be taller than last year. He verified that he has grown an inch since last season. How much taller can Nikola get? He is now 6 ft. 11 in. tall! Nikola said that he will get to go home to see his family in the summer. Nikola's friend Daniel graduated last year. He is a Graduate Assistant Coach for the next two years. Daniel is majoring in Communication Management with an emphasis in Marketing. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Daniel!

Devon PfluegerThe next team member who walked into the Founder's Room was Devon Pflueger. Devon, who is from Dana Point, is a Sophomore majoring in Business Finance. He also likes to play Beach Volleyball. Devon's favorite movie is the "Wolf of Wall Street." As for favorite music, he likes rap and EDM. Trojan Candy hopes that we are served steak tonight because Devon's favorite food is steak! FIGHT ON, Devon!

Julian JacobsTrojan Candy literally grabbed USC Men's Basketball Captain from three ladies he was talking with. I was able to interview Julian Jacobs all by myself! He is a charmer! Julian is majoring in History. A Trojan after my own heart! Julian started playing basketball in the fourth grade. He also likes to go hiking and bike riding. Julian loves the ocean but doesn't like to play beach volleyball. "Why?" I asked. "Too many injuries." For recreation, Julian said that he goes to a movie every week. He doesn't like thriller or horror movies. He does like romantic comedies and science fiction movies. His favorite actor is Liam Neeson. As for music, Julian likes Hip Hop and Alternative. He dances only when he is around good, close friends. Julian may be shy on the dance floor but not on the basketball court! Finally, Julian's favorite food is pasta. With a big smile on his face, Julian said that he has to start his day off with two bowls of cereal...Frosted Flakes and Captain Crunch. FIGHT ON, Julian!

Elijah StewartTrojan Candy had to work fast now. The program was about to start soon. I walked right up to Elijah Stewart. He answered my questions with a big smile on his face and a gleam in his eye! Elijah, who is from Louisiana, is majoring in Economics. He likes to play tennis, football and any street sports. One of his favorite hobbies is to "people watch" at the campus center. Elijah's favorite book is Animal Farm. His favorite food, like Julian, is pasta, but Elijah likes Angel Hair pasta the best. As for music, Elijah likes Kanye West, urban poet Kendrick Lamar, and lyricist Big Sean. In junior high school, Elijah played trumpet in a thirty member award winning band. Since basketball is so time consuming, he stopped playing in a band and gave his trumpet to his younger brother. Trojan Candy had to tell Elijah how a Pac-12 commentator on television had complimented him by saying that he was the best shot-blocker that the Pac-12 has seen in many years. Hearing the compliment, Elijah told me that "Blocking is an art form!" What an artist! FIGHT ON, Elijah!

TrophiesTrojan Candy took a picture of all the trophies. Who will win?

I tried desperately to interview Malik Marquetti before the dinner and program began, but I ran out of time. Everyone was seated.

Devon must be happy....we were served steak.

Coach Enfield announced two awards before dinner was finished. These two players had to attend class.

Elijah Stewart and Andy Enfield
The first award was the Forrest F. Twogood Award for the Best Defensive Player. Elijah Stewart won this award.
Bob Boyd Award
The next award was the Bob Boyd Award for the team's Leading Rebounder.
Nikola Jovanovic
Nikola Jovanovic won this award. FIGHT ON, Nikola!

Luis GavrilovicAs Elijah and Nikola left, two players walked in the door from their classes. Trojan Candy noticed that Luis Gavrilovic had a sling on his right arm. Luis said that he just had surgery last week. Get better quickly and FIGHT ON, Luis!

Darion ClarkThe other player who arrived from class was Darion Clark. Trojan Candy figured that it was now or never to interview Darion since he was sitting at the table next to mine. Plus, there was an empty seat next to him. Not even finishing my dinner, I walked over and sat next to Darion. He obliged me since he had just finished his dinner.

Darion is a Redshirt Junior majoring in Social Science with an emphasis on Psychology and Social Work. He wants to be a mentor. Darion started playing basketball in the seventh grade. He was busy playing other sports before the seventh grade: baseball, football, then basketball. Darion, like Julian, has favorite movies. He likes "Glory Road" and "Coach Carter" the best. His favorite music is Tupac, Hip Hop and Rap. Darion loves music, but does not like to dance. He does like to travel and sightsee. Darion has been to China and the Bahamas playing basketball. When he has time, he likes to play FIFA. Finally, Darion's favorite food is shrimp Alfredo pasta. The last thing Darion told me before I returned to my table, "Next week is my 21st Birthday!" Happy Birthday and FIGHT ON, Darion!

Now, with dessert being finished, Coach Enfield announced the remaining awards. They are as follows:

Katin Reinhardt
Bill Sharman Award for Best Free Throw Average: Katin Reinhardt
Julian Jacobs
Harold Jones Award for the Most Improved Player: Julian Jacobs
Samer Dhillon
Dr. James H. Zumberg Academic Award for the Top GPA: 3.44 and the Ernie Holbrook Memorial Award for the Most Inspirational: Samer Dhillon (3/26/2014)
Malik Marquetti
John Rudemetkin Award for Giving 110% Effort: Malik Marquetti

The Ryan Francis Scholarship Award for being a Trojan went to Jordan McLaughlin. He had a class and couldn't attend the banquet.

FIGHT ON, Katin! FIGHT ON, Julian! FIGHT ON, Samer! FIGHT ON, Malik! And, FIGHT ON, Jordan!

Malik Marquetti with Adriane Webb, Anthony Sanford, Marie Webb and Johnnie WebbTrojan Candy took this nice picture of Malik holding his trophy and posing with his family. A proud family and more new friends for Trojan Candy to visit with next year! Mom Adriane Webb, Malik, Brother Anthony Sanford, Grandmother Marie Webb and Grandfather Johnnie Webb.

CHECK THIS ALBUM for more pictures from the Banquet.

FIGHT ON, Men's Basketball!

Sunday, March 29, 2015---Women of Troy Basketball Banquet

Trojan Candy loves to attend the Women of Troy Basketball banquet every year. The ladies always look so lovely, and they are all so TALL when they wear high heels instead of Nikes.

Alexis Lloyd, Sadie Edwards, Brianna Barrett and Jordan AdamsAs soon as Trojan Candy entered the Founder's Room in the Galen Center, I saw our newest member of the Trojan Family! Naturally, I took a picture of Sadie Edwards with her three future teammates. Alexis Lloyd, Brianna Barrett and Jordan Adams joined Sadie in this picture. Sadie transferred from the University of Connecticut in January and will play in the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Welcome, Sadie and FIGHT ON!

Amya and Austin Mitchell, Brianna and Tonya BarrettThen I followed Brianna Barrett to her table to visit with Brianna's mother Tonya Blades Barrett. I met Tonya two years ago when Brianna was a freshman. Brianna's niece Amya and nephew Austin joined them in this cute picture.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke with Cyan and BrianNow, it was time to eat! At the buffet line, Trojan Candy took this picture of Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke and her children Cyan and Brian. Two more future Trojans!

Amy Okonkwo, Drew Edelman, McKenzie Calvert, Kristen Simon, Courtney Jaco, Alexyz Vaioletama, Kaneisha Horn,  Alexis Lloyd, Brianna Barrett, Sadie Edwards and Jordan AdamsAfter brunch and before the program was to begin, the entire team posed for this picture. In it are Amy Okonkwo, Drew Edelman, McKenzie Calvert, Kristen Simon, Courtney Jaco, Alexyz Vaioletama, Kaneisha Horn, Alexis Lloyd, Brianna Barrett, Sadie Edwards and Jordan Adams.

Alexyz and CarolineVaioletamaJust as everyone was sitting down for the program, Trojan Candy was able to visit with Senior friend Alexyz Vaioletama (6/23/2011) and her mom Caroline. I can't believe that I met and interviewed Alexyz at Heritage Hall when she just started taking summer classes at USC before her freshman year! Now she'll be graduating in two months! FIGHT ON, Alexyz!

Amy Okonkwo, Heidi Torres Rodriguez, Drew Edelman, Courtney Jaco, Jordon Adams and Natalie HartCoach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke opened the program with awards for team members and team managers with the highest G.P.A.'s. Amy Okonkwo, manager Heidi Torres Rodriguez, Drew Edelman, Courtney Jaco, Jordon Adams and manager Natalie Hart were honored. What an honor!

McKenzie Calvert, Kaneisha Horn,  Jordan Adams, and Alexyz Vaioletama
The next honors were awarded to these team members:

Best Newcomer: McKenzie Calvert
Best Defensive Player: Kaneisha Horn
Heart of a Trojan: Jordan Adams
Best Offensive Player and MVP: Alexyz Vaioletama

Brianna Barrett and Jordan AdamsAfter the honors, Team Captains Brianna Barrett and Jordan Adams spoke and thanked everyone in the audience for their support.

Alexyz Vaioletama and Kaneisha HornNext to the podium were the two Seniors on the team. Alexyz Vaioletama and Kaneisha Horn thanked everyone for their support. It was emotional for them to speak to their teammates.

However, their teammates roasted "Mama" (Alexyz) and "Grandma" (Kaneisha) in THIS VIDEO.

Kaneisha HornAfter the program ended, Trojan Candy was able to finally interview Senior Kaneisha Horn. Kaneisha is a graduate student this semester and is majoring in Social Work. She only needs three more classes to earn her M.S. Trojan Candy asked Kaneisha why she decided to come to USC. She said that she liked the coaches and the weather. Her home state is Alabama. Then Kaneisha smiled and said that she just felt "comfortable" here at USC. As do all Trojans! For hobbies, Kaneisha likes to shop and to see movies. Her favorite movie is "Love and Basketball." Her favorite music artists are Beyonce and Jay Z. My final question was, "What is your favorite food?" Kaneisha loves steak! Thank you for deciding to be a Trojan and FIGHT ON, Kaneisha!

Maryann Parsons, Natalie Hart, Esichang McGautha, Kaneisha Horn, Heidi Torres, Dorsa Mehrannia and McKenzieAs I was taking this picture of the Women of Troy Basketball Managers, Kaneisha and McKenzie joined them. In the picture are Maryann Parsons, Natalie Hart, Esichang McGautha, Kaneisha, Heidi Torres, Dorsa Mehrannia and McKenzie. FIGHT ON, USC Team Managers!

Kristen and Ray SimonThe last player that Trojan Candy took a picture of was Kristen Simon. Earlier, my husband Jim and I had met her father Ray. I asked Ray if he played basketball. He said that he played football. Kristen sure got her athleticism from her dad. Then when I met Kristen, we talked about Gardena, where Kristen is from. I taught at Denker Avenue Elementary School in Gardena for 5 years. We have that in common, as well as USC!

Here is an assortment of other pictures that Trojan Candy took at the Women of Troy Basketball banquet:

Please CLICK HERE for an album of other pictures that Trojan Candy took at the Women of Troy Basketball banquet.

FIGHT ON, USC Women of Troy Basketball!

Saturday, March 28, 2015---The USC Men's Volleyball Team vs. UCLA

Jabari Ruffin and Chad WheelerAs Trojan Candy was rushing to the Galen Center to get a good seat at the Men's Volleyball match, I saw two familiar faces outside the Center. Jabari Ruffin (7/13/2012) and Chad Wheeler (3/23/2012) each gave me a big hug and posed for this picture. My two friends said that they were also on their way to the USC vs. UCLA Men's Volleyball Match.

Erick JepsenTrojan Candy then saw another familiar face. Erick Jepsen (5/3/2012) told me that he and the rest of the football team will eat dinner in the Galen Center Founder's Room and then will come to the match. Erick smiled for this picture and then ran ahead because he was a little late. I wish that I had gotten to the Galen Center earlier so that I could see more football friends.

Once inside the Galen Center Trojan Candy walked to the Founder's Room and peeked in. I got a glimpse of a few players. Then I walked inside the arena to get a seat and watch the volleyball warm-ups.

USC Men's Volleyball team
As our team lined up for the Star Spangled Banner, I took this picture of them.
The Bruin starting lineup was announced.
See this video of our Men's Volleyball starting lineup being announced.
USC Men's Football team
During the first set, the entire USC Football Team walked into the arena.
USC Men's Football team
Trojan Candy took a couple of pictures of some of the team sitting in the stands.

Cody Kessler, Delvon Simmons, and Max TuerkThen during the break between sets, Trojan Candy walked over to visit with a few football friends, and of course, take their picture. I was headed to see Zach Banner first since he was so easy to spot. As I climbed up the steps towards Zach, three players were walking down the steps. Cody Kessler (9/8/2011), Delvon Simmons, and Max Tuerk said "Hello" and posed for a picture.

Richie Wenzel, Chris Brown, Grant Moore, and Zach BannerThe three guys continued down the steps, and I walked up to visit with Zach (10/11/2012). He asked Richie Wenzel, Chris Brown and Grant Moore to join him in this picture.

Kris Albarado and Matt BoermeesterAt the next break between sets, Trojan Candy walked back to the same stands to visit with friend Kris Albarado (9/16/2011). Kris introduced me to his friend Matt Boermeester. It was so nice to catch up with Kris.

Final scoreNow, back to the match. The Bruins won sets one and three. We won sets two and four. Then our men won the exciting fifth set 15-11. It is so fabulous to beat the Bruins!

VideoClick the thumbnail to watch this video of our Men's Volleyball Team celebrating their VICTORY with the Spirit of Troy! Our men know how to CELEBRATE!

FIGHT ON, USC Men's Volleyball Team!

Saturday, March 14, 2015---He Got a Little Help from his Friends!

Trojan Candy walked over to the Marks Tennis Stadium from the USC Day of Service at Town and Gown. It was a sweltering day!

Our men were playing our cross-town rivals, the UCLA Bruins. When I arrived, our Men of Troy had already beaten the Bruins in Doubles, so we were leading 1-0.

The Singles had just started.

Our men started winning in two matches.

Max de Vroome
First, Max de Vroome easily won his match 6-0, 6-0 on Court 6.
Nick Crystal
Next, Nick Crystal beat his Bruin, 7-5 and 6-2 on Court 5. Now, USC only needed one more single's victory.
Jonny Wang
Friend Jonny Wang (1/25/2015) clinched the VICTORY over the Bruins on Court 4 by winning his exciting match 6-4 and 7-6!

He beat the Bruins, with a Little Help from his Friends!

Jonny Wang doused
Jonny was doused.
Click the thumbnail above to watch the first of two videos of the USC Celebration and Jonny's drenching!
Click the thumbnail above to see the second video!
Jonny Wang interviewed
Jonny was interviewed for the Pac 12 Network.

FIGHT ON, USC Men's Tennis, to another VICTORY!