December 2019 Candygrams

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Sunday, December 29, 2019---Two New USC Song Girl Friends

At the USC Men's Basketball game vs Florida Gulf Coast, Trojan Candy saw the USC Song Girls passing out flyers in the stands. Curiosity got the best of me, so I walked over to two Song Girls and asked them what they were handing out. They told me that the USC Song Girls were going to have a workshop for young girls. Then these girls would perform at a future men's basketball game.8955

Trojan Candy thanked them and asked if I could take their picture. Meet my two new USC Song Girl friends, Kiley and Bella.

FIGHT ON, USC Song Girls!

By the way, the Men won 71-58.

Saturday, December 21, 2019---USC Men's Basketball vs LSU

Our Men's Basketball Team played LSU in the Hall of Fame Classic at the Staples Center.

Trojan Candy's first video introduced our players and recorded our first basket.

The game was close throughout with our Trojans trailing 28-35 at halftime. With three minutes left in the game, Trojan Candy began to take action videos again.

Our Point Guard Ethan Anderson (11/9/2019) scored his second three point shot that made the score USC 66 – LSU 59 with 3:09 left.
LSU scored the next three points. Ethan hit two free throws to give us a 68-62 lead with 1:08 left.

0074LSU scored the next four points. Nick Rakocevic (8/26/2016) tipped in a hard-fought basket for a 70-66 lead with 0:11 left.

0075LSU scored another basket and fouled Jonah Mathews (4/12/2017). Jonah missed a bonus free throw. LSU got the rebound and raced downcourt. Onyeka Okongwu (11/9/2019) blocked LSU's Javonte Smarts' shot at the buzzer to preserve a 70-68 win.

Jonah Mathews was chosen as the MVP of the game.

8680Our Trojans celebrated their victory!

Friday, December 20, 2019---More Friends at the Women of Troy Basketball Game vs Nevada

Trojan Candy was at Galen Center for the Women of Troy basketball game vs Nevada. I noticed a familiar face in the courtside seats. It was Desmon Farmer sitting with his family.

Our women were down 15-22 to Nevada at half-time.

Naturally, during halftime, I walked down to visit with Desmon. Desmon told me that after he retired from the NBA, he started coaching. He has coached youth basketball with the Vegas Thunder AAU Basketball team, the Royal Basketball School, and Private Training. He is now with BIG3's 3-on-3 Youth Initiative Young3. Keep coaching and FIGHT ON, Desmon!

Desmon smiled for me in this picture.
Then, I asked Desmon if I could take a picture of his son. His son had just shot a basket to win a T-shirt. Just like his dad!
There were more friends at the game. Isaiah Mobley (11/7/2019), Ethan Anderson (11/9/2019) and Onyeka "Big O" Okongwu (11/9/2019) posed with a friend of mine and fellow Trojan, Aileen Osato (8/15/2008).

Our Women of Troy beat Nevada 50-47.

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019---Another New Friend at the Women of Troy Basketball Game vs UTRGV

Trojan Candy was at Galen Center for the Women of Troy basketball game vs the University Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros. I recognized some USC football players sitting together and saw a player whom I had never seen before. I walked right over to interview him before the game started.

8626Freshman cornerback Adonis Otey is from Columbia, Tennessee. He is majoring in Communication. His favorite food is pizza. His hobby is playing football and taking care of his academics. Adonis likes rap music the best, and his favorite rap artist is NBA YoungBoy. So nice to meet you, Adonis, and FIGHT ON!

Our Women of Troy beat UTRGV 80-43.

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

Saturday, December 14, 2019---The USC President and USC Football Players Too!

8467Our Women of Troy Basketball team was playing a game against UNLV at Galen Center. During halftime Trojan Candy saw her sitting across the court. I walked over to meet our new president. Carol Folt was friendly and smiling. We spoke about organizations that I am a member of, such as Town & Gown, TGLA, Half Century Trojans and the Associates. I asked her if I could take a picture of her. Instead, she had someone take a picture of both of us. So nice to meet you, President Folt!

As I walked back to my seat, a young man signaled to me to come over to him in the stands. There were four of them sitting together. They were USC football players! Trojan Candy told them that I would come back to take pictures and interview them.

8469As soon as I returned, I took a picture of them. They were Abdul-Malik McClain and Velus Jones Jr (1/29/2017) in front and Isaac Taylor-Stuart and Dominic Davis in back. Then, I proceeded to interview each one of them and take individual pictures.

8471The first player whom Trojan Candy interviewed was Dominic Davis. Dominic is the player who motioned me to come over to them. WR-CB Dominic is a senior majoring in Communication. His favorite food is sushi. Dominic's hobby is playing video games. "Call of Duty" is his favorite game. Dominic likes R&B music the best, and his favorite artist is Lil Wayne. As for movies, Dominic likes "Kung Fu Hustle" the most. FIGHT ON, Dominic!

8476The next football player whom Trojan Candy interviewed was freshman Munir McClain. He had just sat down in the aisle seat. WR Munir is majoring in Sociology. Two of his hobbies are playing football and playing the piano. Munir's favorite food is seafood. Yum! Munir's favorite music artists are "Takers Rap" artist T.I. and Rap artist Future. RAP and FIGHT ON, Munir!

8477Trojan Candy interviewed WR Velus Jones Jr. next. Velus is a red-shirt junior. Like Munir, he is majoring in Sociology. His hobbies are to go to movies and play X box. Velus's favorite movie is "Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby," and his favorite actor is Trojan Will Ferrell. His favorite food is seafood and soul food. Velus likes Trap hip hop music the most. FIGHT ON, Velus!

8478The fourth USC Football player whom Trojan Candy interviewed was Isaac Taylor-Stuart. CB sophomore Issac is majoring in Communication, just like Dominic and Munir. His hobby is playing video games. Isaac's favorite food is barbecue. Mmm! As for favorite music, Isaac likes RAP artist Future, also like Munir. This must be why they are good friends. Isaac's favorite movie is "Barbershop 2: Back in Business." FIGHT ON, Issac!

8479Then at last, I was able to interview Munir McClain's older brother Abdul-Malik who is also on the USC football team. OLB Abdul-Malik is a sophomore majoring in Communication. He likes to go to the beach and wear Michael Jordan shoes. Unlike his brother, Abdul-Malik's favorite food is hot wings. His favorite movies are action movies. Another Trojan after my own heart! Like Velus, Abdul-Malik likes Trap hip hop music the best. His two favorite artists are Lil Baby and Drake. FIGHT ON, Abdul-Malik!

All the time that Trojan Candy was interviewing the five football players, our Women of Troy were playing well against UNLV. We won 75-54.

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Basketball!

Sunday, December 1, 2019---"Out of the Blocks" Track Banquet

Trojan Candy arrived a little early to her first USC Track Banquet. I sat at a middle table with my sister Patti and brother-in-law Dudley Poon. There were three Women of Troy track athletes at our table.

7949I was able to interview the young lady sitting next to Patti. Sydney Tullai, who is a Junior from Chino Hills, competes in Cross Country. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sports Business and Management. One of Sydney's hobbies is to discover new movies. Her favorite movie is the "Phantom of the Opera." Sydney's favorite food is Fettuccine Alfredo. So nice to meet you and FIGHT ON, Sydney!

Trojan Candy didn't have time to interview the other two Women of Troy track members sitting at our table because the banquet started.

The 2020 Track and Field Seniors were introduced near the beginning of the program. I recorded two videos of the introductions.

This is the first video.
In the first video, Seniors Chloe Berry, Michael Jakowec, Isaiah Jewett, Matthew Myrtue, Kamryn Weber, Josh Zavala, Damiano Carrioli, Michael Gonzalez Jr (9/1/2018), Darryl Shaw, Nathan Bultman, Matthew Katnik, Jason Kim and Colette "CoCo" Putnam were introduced. My camera stopped recording just as CoCo Putnam was being introduced. Sorry!
I restarted my camera, and Angie Annelus, Alexander Barnum, Anna Cockrell, Kyra Constantine and Mecca McGlaston were introduced.
At the Town and Gown steps, I took this picture of the 2020 Seniors. What a lovely class!

Then, at the podium, Director of Track and Field Caryl Smith Gilbert told us that our men had the highest GPA (3.05) of all men's sports last semester. The Seniors in eighty-four events won 46 Gold Medals, 23 Silver Medals and 15 Bronze Medals. What a record! FIGHT ON, USC Track and Field Seniors!

7954Coach Smith Gilbert was announcing awards continually during the banquet. I took pictures of several of them. The Male MVP Award went to Matt Katnick and the Woman MVP went to Angie Annelus.

7958Now it was time for the Heritage Award winners to be introduced. Heritage Awards recognize individuals who have contributed to the great tradition of USC track and field. The first award was given to Mike Larrabee, posthumously. He passed away in 2003. Mike Larrabee, Jr., accepted the award. His father was an All-American sprinter at USC from 1954-56. Mike won the Gold Medal in the 400m dash and the 4x400 Relay at the 1964 Olympics.

The second Heritage Award was given to Aaron Brown (9/8/2011). Trojan Candy interviewed Aaron at Heritage Hall. Aaron, who is from Toronto, Canada, ranks fifth on USC's all-time 100m list and seventh on USC's all-time 200m list. He won a Bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics in the 4x100m relay. It was so nice to see you again and FIGHT ON, Aaron!

Aaron posed with Angie Annelus and George Johnson.
Coach Caryl joined the two Heritage Award recipients.
"Most Improved" Kyra Constantine posed with Angie Annelus and Aaron Brown. Aaron is everywhere!
"Women's Academic Awardee" and "Women's Come Through Performer" Anna Cockrell joined Angie and Kyra in this picture.

Anna told Trojan Candy that she has one more year of eligibility. Fantastic!

Trojan Candy saw Aaron talking to Sprints Assistant Coach Quincy Watts (4/26/2011).
Standing nearby were Junior High Jumper Earnest Sears III and his parents, Earnie and Sharon Sears.

As Trojan Candy was leaving, I saw Matt Katnick standing with his family. They held Matt's trophies for "Most Improved Man" and "Most Valuable Male Athlete."

Here are his Uncle David Craddock, Aunt Jane Centofante, Aunt Linda Wenglikowski and Matt. Congratulations, Matt!

What an award filled "Out of the Block" banquet.