April 2017 (3) Candygrams

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017---USC Men's Basketball Banquet

Trojan Candy and my husband Jim were already in downtown Los Angeles. We attended the first "Older Adult Summit" earlier in the day. Now, we were the first two guests to arrive in the Galen Center lobby for the Men's Basketball Banquet. Sitting at a table with a clear view of the check in table, no player was going to get by Trojan Candy.

Pierson Clair and John McGillen
In the house were two USC photographer friends. The official USC photographer for tonight Pierson Clair (9/23/2010) and friend John McGillen (5/3/2014), who had the night off, were on the other end of my camera.
Sam Chow and Patti Poon
Trojan Candy saw another friend, Sam Chow, who was a Student Assistant for the Men's Basketball Team when he was an undergrad at USC. Sam posed with my sister Patti.
Bennie Boatwright
I was right at the check-in desk when I saw him walking toward me. Bennie Boatwright (5/26/2015) smiled for my picture. Then I told him to "test the waters" and then come back to USC. Bennie just smiled with no comment.
Bennie Boatwright and Andy Enfield
Bennie was walking to the boxes of basketballs that the players were supposed to autograph. Head Coach Enfield was already signing the balls.
Bennie Boatwright, De'Anthony Melton, Nick Rakocevic, Jonah Mathews, and Harrison Henderson
Several players signed the balls. Bennie Boatwright, De'Anthony Melton, Nick Rakocevic (8/26/2016), Jonah Mathews, and Harrison Henderson.
Lisa, Jordan, and Thomas McLaughlin
I saw another friend who had just finished signing the basketballs. Trojan Candy was able to take this picture of Jordan McLaughlin (5/26/2015) with his parents Lisa and Thomas.

Jonah MathewsWhen Trojan Candy saw Jonah Mathews walk away from the basketball autograph table, I was able to catch up with him and ask him if I could take his picture and interview him. He said, "Yes." Jonah is majoring in Communication. His favorite books are "Harry with Friends" and any sports book. Jonah said that he would like to become a Mentor to high school basketball players. His favorite food is Alfredo pasta. As for his favorite movie, Jonah likes Disney movies. His two favorite movies are "Jungle Book" and "Lion King." Jonah likes two music artists---rapper Drake and R&B artist Bryson Taylor. Lastly, Jonah told me that he is very close to his family. FIGHT ON, Jonah!

Jean Ann Holbrook, Jonah Mathews, and Susan CaldwellAfter the interview, Trojan Candy took Jonah, who is from Santa Monica, over to talk with friend and fellow Trojan Guild of Los Angeles member Jean Ann Holbrook. Her husband Bob is a former mayor of Santa Monica. Jonah wanted to see them again after I took a picture of him with Bob at his first scrimmage on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. Bob was nowhere to be seen, but Jonah posed with Jean Ann and her friend Susan Caldwell.

De'Anthony, Damani, Damauri, Monique, and Destiny MeltonTrojan Candy walked back to the basketball table and saw De'Anthony Melton and his family. They gathered for this cute picture. There is De'Anthony holding his brother Damani, brother Damauri, mother Monique, and sister Destiny. Monique played Power Forward in high school. Their family is from Texas, and De'Anthony's Nanny lives in my home town of Houston. Now, here is my interview with De'Anthony. He chose USC so that he could be close to home in North Hollywood, his family could see him play, and he said that he felt "at home" at USC. De'Anthony is majoring in Communication. More personally, tacos is his favorite food. De'Anthony said that he could eat tacos all day! His hobby is playing video games, and his favorite game is NBA 2K 17. "Creed" is his favorite movie, and "The Flash" is his favorite television show. He likes Hip-Hop music and Chance is his favorite rapper. FIGHT ON, De'Anthony!

Chimezie Metu and Sam Dhillon
Friends Chimezie Metu (8/28/2015) and Sam Dhillon (3/26/2014) smiled for me.
Shaqquan Aaron, Sam Dhillon, and Elijah Stewart
Sam also posed with friends Shaqquan Aaron (4/12/2016) and Elijah Stewart (3/30/2015).

Charles BuggsTrojan Candy finally saw Senior Charles Buggs! I followed him and reached up on my tippy-toes to tap him on his shoulder. Charles turned around, looked down at me, and smiled. He agreed to let me interview him. Charles earned his M.S. in Communication at USC. As for his two hobbies, he likes to hang out with friends and go shopping for clothes. You can see he is wearing a very fashionable bow tie! Charles loves Asian food. As for movies, he likes dramatic films as well as action films. Another Trojan after Candy's own heart! Charles likes R and B music and Jazz. Drake and John Mellankamp are his favorite artists. FIGHT ON, Charles! I interviewed Charles in the nick of time....The Spirit of Troy marched into the lobby to encourage the guests in the lobby to get in line for their food.

Lois and Mike Valerio and Charles Buggs
Just at the instant, two friends, Lois and Mike Valerio stood by Charles for a picture. I snapped it quickly.
Leland Waters and Mel Hughes
Then as I was walking over to get in line for the dinner, I saw friends Leland Waters and Mel Hughes.
Jim and I were able to sit with good friends for dinner. I took a picture of the scrumptious dessert first.
Jim Yee, Patti and Dudley Poon, Lai-Tan Carapia, Gary Pechersky, Eiko Sato and Raymond Bates, and Genaro Carapia
Then I took this picture of my friends at my table. Standing: Jim Yee, Patti and Dudley Poon, and Lai-Tan Carapia. Sitting: Gary Pechersky, Eiko Sato and Raymond Bates, and Genaro Carapia.
David, Charles, and Terri Buggs
It was time for Trojan Candy to take a picture of Charles Buggs and his parents David and Terri. They were sitting at a nearby table.
Next, I walked by the table of trophies. Who will be honored?

I made it back to my table just in time for the start of the program.

Athletic Director Lynn Swann spoke first. He thanked the parents, fans, staff, support people, and coaches and advised the players to practice teamwork and fellowship. Next, Steve Lopes, Senior Associate Athletic Director, told the audience, "We are just getting started!"

Our team
Next on the program, two videos were shown. The first video featured our entire team.
UCLA and Tournament games
The second video showed highlighted our 84-76 victory over the Bruins in the Galen Center on 1/25/2017 and then our journey through the NCAA Tournament. Yes, Trojan Candy held my camera up to record both videos without a tripod. Whew!

Declared for draftAfter the audience cheering from the two videos died down, Coach Enfield tantalized everyone about "good news and bad news." His "good news" was that this team set the school record with 26 wins. Then he told us the "bad news." Coach Enfield, with a somber face, told us that USC had the most number of players to declare for the draft. "Nine players are declaring for the draft." Then he showed a picture of the nine players. Audience laughter drew a big smile on Coach Enfield's face! What a tease! In the picture, some of them were players; others were USC Road Warriors. Pictured left to right were top row: Elijah Stewart, Grant Nichol, Bennie Boatwright, Sue Cimbuluk, and Sam Dhillon. Bottom row: Lynn Swann, Shaqquan Aaron, Kurt Karis, and John Colich.

Next, Coach Enfield spoke fondly of Elijah Stewart and Jordon McLaughlin, who were part of his 1st recruiting class. He said, "They came to USC on a dream." Trojan Candy is so glad that they chose USC.

Now it was time for the awards. They are as follows:

Sam Dhillon
Dr. James Zumberge Academic Award
Sam Dhillon with 3.5 GPA
Bennie Boatwright
Bill Sharman Award for Best Free Throw Percentage
Bennie Boatwright with 90.7%
Chemezie Metu
Bob Boyd Award Top Rebounder
Chemezie Metu with 8 per game
Jonah Mathews
John Rudometkin Award for 110% Effort
Jonah Mathews
De'Anthony Melton
Forrest TwoGood Memorial Award for Best Defender
De'Anthony Melton with 7 steals per game
Chemezie Metu
Harold Jones Memorial Award for Most Improved
Chemezie Metu, also for the Pac-12
Chemezie Metu
Ryan Frances Scholarship Award
Chemezie Metu
Jordan McLaughlin
Ernie Holbrook Memorial Most Inspirational Award
Jordan McLaughlin

Congratulations to all of our Award Winners!

As guests were either leaving or lingering to talk to friends, Trojan Candy took two pictures of three dear friends.

Richard Flores, Chemezie Metu, and Marciano Flores
Richard Flores and his dad Marciano posed with Chemezie Metu.
Richard, Rebecca, and Marciano Flores
Then, Rebecca Flores joined Richard and Marciano.
Nick Rakocevic and Kurt Karis
After leaving the Flores Family, I turned to my right and saw Nick Rakocevic and Kurt Karis.
Men's basketball team
Thank goodness! The team was told to gather at the stage for a picture.
Julian Bonse and Scott Wandzilak
Before Jim and I left, I had two friends, Julian Bonse and Scott Wandzilak, hold the souvenir glasses that were given to each guest. They're beautiful!
Florence and Chimezie Metu
As Trojan Candy exited in the lobby, I took this picture of Chimezie Metu with his mom Florence.

What a fabulous evening!

FIGHT ON, USC's Men's Basketball!

Saturday, April 8, 2017---Women of Troy Tennis Senior Salute

Trojan Candy can be in two places at once! While I was walking and walking around Swim with Mike taking pictures, my husband Jim was at the Women of Troy Tennis match with Colorado. Unbeknownst to me, it was Senior Salute Day for the Women of Troy.

Head Coach Richard Gallien allowed Jim to come onto the court to take pictures. Thanks, Coach Gallien!

Using my Canon G16 camera, Jim took these beautiful, memorable pictures.

Video board
The video board congratulated our two Seniors.
Zoe Katz and Ines Guinard
Our two Seniors, Zoe Katz (2/28/2015) and Ines Guinard, posed together.
Jessica Failla, Angela Kulikov, Kristen Venter, Gabby Smith, Zoe Katz, Ines Guinard, Madison Westby, Sarah Teichner, Sydney Van Alphen, and Rianna Valdes
The entire team joined Zoe and Ines. Jessica Failla, Angela Kulikov, Kristen Venter, Gabby Smith, Zoe, Ines, Madison Westby, Sarah Teichner, Sydney Van Alphen, and Rianna Valdes.
Laura Gordon and Richard Gallien
Then, Coaches Laura Gordon and Richard Gallien bookended the team.
Zoe Katz and Richard Gallien
Coach Gallien posed with Zoe.
Richard Gallien and Ines Guinard
Next, he joined Ines for this picture.
Laura Gordon, Zoe Katz, Ines Guinard, and Richard Gallien
Both Seniors posed with Coaches Laura Gordon and Richard Gallien.
Katz, Zoe, Nancy, and Ziggy Katz
Jim took this nice picture of Zoe with her parents, Katz and Nancy, and her dog Ziggy.
Zoe Katz and Ines Guinard
The last picture Jim took is of Zoe and Ines holding their colorful bouquets.


Our Women of Troy Tennis Team beat Colorado 7-0.

Ines GuinardTrojan Candy stayed after the match and saw Ines Guinard just as she was walking out of the stadium. I ran after her and asked her if I could take her picture and interview her. With a beautiful smile, she obliged. Ines majored in Industrial Engineering. I asked her why she chose USC. Ines said that USC is excellent in engineering, the academics overall at USC is also excellent, and she was awarded a Trustee Scholarship. Trojan Candy is so glad that Ines chose USC! Her parents live in Madrid, but Ines had lived in the United States before she attended USC. That must be why her English is impeccable. Ines told me that her favorite food is paella, which is a Valencian rice dish. As for movies, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is her favorite. The Spanish book "The Time In Between" is her favorite book. As for hobbies, Ines loves to play golf. Thank you, Ines, and FIGHT ON!

Trojan Candy was so fortunate to be able to interview Ines.

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Tennis!