March 2017 (3) Candygrams

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Friday, March 24, 2017---Women of Troy Basketball Banquet

Trojan Candy walked down the steep stairs to the Radisson Hotel's 1880 Room. I was early for the 6:30 p.m. dinner, but the room was already full of USC Women of Troy Basketball players, their families, coaching staff, sponsors and fans.

I set my bags down at my table and immediately looked for the four Seniors. Amazingly, in four years I had never interviewed any of the 2017 Seniors.

John and Janine Turk and Courtney and Alex JacoSitting at a table near the podium, Trojan Candy saw Senior Courtney Jaco sitting with her family. Step-dad John Turk, Mom Janine Turk, Courtney, and Dad Alex Jaco.

Courtney JacoThen, Courtney let me take her picture and interview her. Courtney chose USC because it was local, and it was her "dream school." She told me that her grandmother is not able to travel to games, so she wanted to attend a school close to home. Also, Courtney's step-father John Turk and her step-sister both attended USC. John told me later that he played in the Spirit of Troy when he was a student at USC. Another Trojan Family! On a more personal side, Courtney's favorite food is American hamburgers, and she said that she really enjoys eating period. Her favorite movie is "Love and Basketball" which was filmed at USC. Courtney likes R&B music. After graduation, Courtney told me that she would like to play basketball either in the WNBA or overseas. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Courtney!

Courtney Jaco and Alexis LloydAs I just finished interviewing Courtney, Senior Alexis Lloyd walked up to us, hugged Courtney and posed with her.

Alexis LloydNow it was time to interview Alexis. Alexis majored in Social Psychology. She said that she chose USC because it was the "perfect place." She wanted to be part of the "Trojan Family." Her favorite food is Soul Food. Alexis, just like Courtney, likes R&B music and any music of the 2000 era. Her favorite television genre is comedy. She likes the "Cleveland Show." For hobbies, Alexis likes to draw, write poetry and connect with as many people as possible. She will attend the Pro-Combine in Dallas after the NCAA's end. Good Luck and FIGHT ON, Alexis!

Ivana JakubcovaTwo down and two Seniors to go. Trojan Candy couldn't miss her. She is 6'6" tall. She is the tallest player on the team. When I took her picture, I had to hold my camera up above my head. Senior Ivana Jakubcova earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Kentucky, and she earned her Masters Degree in Applied Psychology at USC. Like Courtney, Ivana's favorite movie is "Love and Basketball." Her favorite music artist is Drake. Ivana's favorite food is crepes. When I asked Ivana what her favorite television show is, she said that she likes to look at "Friends" re-runs. She has watched four years of the "Friends" re-runs and intends to view all of the episodes. Ivana told me that she, along with Alexis and Courtney, will be attending the WNBA Combine in Dallas after the NCAA's are done. Good Luck and FIGHT ON, Ivana!

Dani Milisic and Ivana JakubcovaIvana's friend and teammate Dani Milisic (3/25/2016) came to visit with Ivana, so Trojan Candy took their picture.

Jordan AdamsTrojan Candy has known the last Senior, Jordan Adams for five years. I can't believe that I had never interviewed her before. Jordan is earning her Masters in Communication Management. She chose USC because "it felt like home, and it was something that I could be a part of." Her mom told her that the school she chooses would be like a marriage you would be in for life. Thank goodness Jordan chose USC! Jordan's favorite movie is not "Love and Basketball" but "Pulp Fiction." She loves Quinton Tarantino. Jordan's favorite music is RAP and Rhythm and Blues. Her favorite food is Mexican food, especially burritos and tacos. Jordan's family didn't come to the banquet, because they were watching her sister Jayda play for Mater Dei in the State Championships. Hopefully, Jordan will be able to play another season at USC. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Jordan!

Trojan Candy was so lucky to interview all four Seniors. Now it was time to take as many pictures that I could of other teammates and staff.

Alexis Lloyd and Jessika Carrington
Administrative Assistant Jessika Carrington posed with Alexis Lloyd.
Andi Ostrowski and Kristen Simon
Athletic Trainer Andi Ostrowski and Junior Kristen Simon smiled for yours truly.
Alexis Lloyd, Lynn Swann, Jordan Adams, and Courtney Jaco
Trojan Candy was able to take this picture of Athletic Director Lynn Swann with three Seniors Alexis Lloyd, Jordan Adams and Courtney Jaco.
Beth Burns and Sadie Edwards
Associate Head Coach Beth Burns and Junior Sadie Edwards (3/25/2016) sat at the same table.
Candela Abejon, Donna Heinel, and Kristen Simon
Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel came to our table to greet everyone. Sophomore Candela Abejon (3/25/2016) and Kristen Simon gave the Victory Sign with Donna.
Dani Milisic, Minyon Moore, Ja'Tavia Tapley, Asiah Jones, and Valerie Higgins
After dinner, Coach Beth Burns introduced our 2016-2017 Team. Here are our Freshman. Dani Milisic, Minyon Moore, Ja'Tavia Tapley, Asiah Jones, and Valerie Higgins.
Sadie Edwards, Marguerite Effa, Kristen Simon and Candela Abejon
Here are our Sophomores and Juniors. Sadie Edwards, Marguerite Effa, Kristen Simon and Candela Abejon.

Next on the program was the Awards Presentation.

Coach Burns introduced seven players and two Student Managers who were inducted into the Women's Basketball Trojan 3.0 Club for their academic achievements.

Assistant Director of Academic Advising Angela Munger-Rivera posed with each student.

Angela Munger-Rivera and  Candela Abejon
Congratulations to Candela Abejon!
Angela Munger-Rivera and Jordan Adams
Jordan Adams
Angela Munger-Rivera and Courtney Jaco
Courtney Jaco
Angela Munger-Rivera and Sadie Edwards
Sadie Edwards
Angela Munger-Rivera and Minyon Moore
Minyon Moore
Ivana Jakubcova and Angela Munger-Rivera
Ivana Jakubcova
Angela Munger-Rivera and Valerie Higgins
Valerie Higgins
Angela Munger-Rivera and Jason Hill
Student Manager Jason Hill
Angela Munger-Rivera and Sabrina Sawyer
Student Manager Sabrina Sawyer

The Pac-12 Individual Awards were presented next.

Taja Edwards and Minyon Moore
Congratulations to Pac-12 All-Freshmen Team recipient Minyon Moore posing with Assistant Coach Taja Edwards.
Courtney Jaco and Taja Edwards
Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention recipient Courtney Jaco with Taja Edwards.
Jualeah Woods and Kristen Simon
All Pac-12 Team Kristen Simon posing with Assistant Coach Jualeah Woods.

Women of Troy Team Awards were the last awards presented. Congratulations to the three awardees.

Courtney Jaco and Andi Ostrowski
"Trojan Tough Award" winner Courtney Jaco with Andi Ostrowski.
Jualeah Woods, Ja'Tavia Tapley, and Taja Edwards
"Most Improved Player" Ja'Tavia Tapley with Coaches Jualeah Woods and Taja Edwards.
Beth Burns, Courtney Jaco, Taja Edwards and Jualeah Woods
"Most Valuable Player" Courtney Jaco with Coaches Beth Burns, Taja Edwards and Jualeah Woods.

Now, it was time for the Seniors to be honored.

Candela Abejon and Ivana Jakubcova
First to the podium was Candela Abejon who spoke of her friend Senior Ivana Jakubcova.
Asiah Jones, Ja'Tavia Tapley, and Alexis Lloyd
Asiah Jones and Ja'Tavia Tapley teased Senior Alexis Lloyd.
Minyon Moore and Jordan Adams
Minyon Moore "roasted" Senior Jordan Adams.
Kristen Simon and Courtney Jaco
Long time friend of Senior Courtney Jaco, Kristen Simon "roasted" Courtney.
Jordan Adams, Alexis Lloyd, Ivana Jakubcova, and Courtney Jaco
The last speakers were our four Seniors---Jordan Adams, Alexis Lloyd, Ivana Jakubcova, and Courtney Jaco.
Jordan Adams, Alexis Lloyd, Ivana Jakubcova, and Courtney Jaco
Here were their sometimes touching, sometimes humorous, and sometimes outrageous comments.
Season Highlights
The program ended with the "Season Highlights" video.
2016-2017 team
Trojan Candy had the entire team gather near the stairs for a team picture.

What a memorable evening!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!