March 2020 (2) Candygrams

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Monday, March 30, 2020---Email to Brandon Holt

Below is the email that I wrote on March 29 to Athletic Director Mike Bohn to support USC Tennis Senior Brandon Holt. I have added to the original email the pictures and new text which is italicized.

Below my email is the reply that Brandon sent me on March 30.

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My email of March 29

Sirs, please forward my email to USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn. I hope that he chooses to publish my email. Also, please forward my email to USC Men’s Tennis Senior athlete Brandon Holt.

My email is as follows:

Dear Brandon,

Thank you for nearly four years of hard fought competitions, utterly tremendous shots, exciting victories and an unbelievable Pac- 12 Championship match in 2017 when you won the deciding clinching point match against the Bruin Gage Brymer!

I am so glad that I met you and your family on Friday, April 14, 2017, when I interviewed you for my blog.

Here is the picture I took of your partner Riley Smith and you playing doubles vs. Arizona as freshmen.
Here you are playing singles on Court 1. You won your match 6-2; 6-1.
That same afternoon I met your grandparents Stan and Fredith Holt.
I also met your Mom Tracy Austin.

My husband Jim and I have become good friends with your grandparents.

Congratulations to you and the rest of the team on winning the 2020 ITA National Team Indoor Championships and finishing the abbreviated season ranked #1!

Also, thank you for acknowledging last fall at Monday Morning Quarterback that Jim and I attend every men’s tennis match and are big tennis supporters. Yes....we came to watch you play and win on Court 1!

Best of luck in the ATP. We’ll be rooting for you. Keep FIGHTING ON, Forever Brandon!

Trojan Candy (Candy Yee)
USC Class of 1968

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Brandon's reply on March 30

Hi Candy,

I received your email! Thank you so much for the support over my nearly four years at USC. I loved every minute of it and people like you made it extra special. I hope to see you soon! Please stay safe and tell your husband Jim hello for me.

Brandon Holt

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Saturday, March 7, 2020---USC Men's Basketball vs. the Bruins

My husband Jim and I arrived very early for the USC vs. UCLA men's basketball game at the Galen Center. We were able to get an excellent parking space and early entrance into the Galen Center.

Since my sister Patti Poon and I are both Galen Founders, we were able to go into the Founder's Room to hear Coach Andy Enfield's pre-game talk.
After Coach Enfield left, Justin Dedeaux introduced the 1970 USC Baseball National Championship Team.
Then, President Carol Folt joined Justin at the podium.
After the presentation ended, Patti and I walked out to the arena. We saw the big screen.
The Victory Bell was in the house, too!
Our men were warming up. After that, they returned to the locker room.
Later on, our Trojans ran out to the court.
Next a video featuring our five Seniors was shown on the Galen Center big screen. Each Senior was introduced and accompanied by his family to the center court.

The Seniors were McKay Anderson (10/16/2018), Quinton Adlesh, Daniel Utomi (11/7/2019), Nick Rakocevic (8/26/2016), and Jonah Mathews (4/12/2017).

After the Senior Ceremony ended, both teams warmed up.
Trojan Candy's good friend Keith Williams Jr. walked to center court and was greeted by our team as they walked by on their way to line up for his "Star Spangled Banner." Keith did an astounding performance. Bravo Keith!
The Dance Force and the Knights waited with the Victory Bell at the center of the court for the introduction of the starting lineups.
Now it was time to introduce our starting lineup.
Here is the tipoff and our first basket.
When Keith walked over to the southwest tunnel where he normally works, I took this picture of him.
During the game, the 1970 NCAA Baseball National Champions were honored on the Galen Center Big Screen.
Then Trojan Candy saw that Adoree' Jackson (12/14/2016) was sitting courtside. Naturally, Trojan Candy walked over to take his picture.
Later in the first half, Adoree' went to pass out a t-shirt to the Jersey Mike Fan of the Game.
We were ahead 24-22 at halftime. Also, upcoming at halftime was a performance by Reason.
The Song Girls performed during halftime.
The Dance Force also performed.
During halftime I spotted Nick Young.
Senior Jonah Mathews was honored on the big screen when he became the USC career leader in three's.
USC Football Alumni Rasheem Green (12/13/2017), Adoree' Jackson and Jordan Simmons (7/13/2012), as well as Basketball Alumnus Brandon Granville (4/9/2013) were shown on the big screen.

The game was tight near the end. Trojan Candy took several game videos.

The "good and the bad" action started happening with 2:26 left on the clock.
Bad plays can happen to the Bruins too.
With 9 seconds left on the clock and USC losing by one point, an ASTOUNDING play can happen. Jonah Mathews shot the winning 3 point shot with 1 second left!
Here is the final score!
Trojan Candy recorded Jonah Mathews' on court interview.
Then Coach Enfield did his post-game interview.
Trojan Candy stayed to take this video of Jonah's radio interview on the big screen.
Then I walked around the court, and Jonah smiled for Trojan Candy in this picture!
I took a picture of Jonah's mom Margie holding a beautiful bouquet.
As Jim and I were leaving the Galen Center, Trojan Candy took this picture of Patti with Keith Williams Jr.

What an unbelievable VICTORY!

FIGHT ON, USC Men's Basketball!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020---USC Football Spring Showcase

Trojan Candy met my sister Patti and brother-in-law Dudley Poon in the Coliseum parking lot. We were attending the inaugural USC Football Spring Showcase in the Scholarship Tower. The three of us entered at the Coliseum Press Gate and took an elevator up to the Tower.

We walked up the staircase to the entrance to the Lou Galen Club.
When we walked inside, Trojan Candy noticed this collage of USC football players.
Here is another collage.
Trojan Candy took this picture of friend Lenny Vandermade with Patti and Dudley.

Then, I saw them! Two USC football recruits! So excited, I almost ran over to them. They were freshmen Joshua Jackson and Gary Bryant. Trojan Candy interviewed Joshua first.

0717Joshua Jackson is a Wide Receiver. He graduated from Narbonne H.S. a semester early to enter USC this spring. Joshua is majoring in Real Estate Development. More personally, Joshua's favorite food is fried shrimp. His hobby is playing video games. Joshua likes RAP music the best. FIGHT ON, Joshua!

0719It's a good thing that Trojan Candy took a picture of Joshua and Gary Bryant together, because I forgot to take an individual picture of Gary when I interviewed him. Here is Gary's interview. Like Joshua, Gary is an incoming freshman Wide Receiver. He is from the Inland Empire. Gary is undecided in his major. His favorite food is seafood. When I asked him if he had any hobbies, Gary paused for a while...then he said his hobby is football. Gary's favorite movie is "National Treasure" starring Nicolas Cage. Trojan Candy likes that movie too! FIGHT ON, Gary!

0721The next new freshman recruit was talking with a gentleman. Since I was standing nearby waiting for my chance to talk to the recruit, the gentleman asked me to take a picture of both of them with his cellphone. I asked another person nearby because my hand always shakes when I take a picture with someone's cellphone. However, I told the gentleman that I would take a picture of the two of them with my camera and send him my picture. I would also put the picture in my blog article. The gentleman I met was Richard Brown. I sent him the picture I took with him and Kobe Pepe.

0722Now, it was my turn to meet Kobe, take his picture and interview him. Here is a smiling Kobe Pepe. Kobe is from Long Beach. He told me that USC is his dream school, and it is located close to home. Kobe is a Defensive Lineman. His favorite food is chicken wings. Kobe likes Polynesian music the most. His favorite movie is "Blindside." Trojan Candy loves that movie too! Finally, Kobe told me that he is a "big church guy." FIGHT ON, Kobe!

0725There was still some time before the program was going to start. Trojan Candy recognized a veteran USC player. Anyone could take one look at him and know that he was a football player. I tapped him on the shoulder and Alijah Vera-Tucker (12/12/2018) turned around and then looked down at me with a smile on his face. Alijah is a red-shirt junior Offensive Guard. He is majoring in Communication. Alijah chose USC for its academics. For hobbies, Alijah likes to "hang out" with his friends and play video games. FIGHT ON, Alijah!

Trojan Candy saw Coach Keary Colbert next.
Nearby were two good friends. Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone and Julian Bonse smiled for me.
All the guests could hear them coming. The Spirit of Troy is in the house!
Then Pac-12's Yogi Roth introduced the four freshman spring recruits who sat down on the stage.
The four freshmen were Gary Bryant, Joshua Jackson, Dave Parker and Kobe Pepe.
Here is my video of the four freshman speaking about themselves.
Upper classmen Talanoa Hufanga (2/7/2018) and Alijah Vera-Tucker were next in a very candid dialogue.
Head Coach Helton talked about recruiting and then had his coaches introduce themselves.

0298Defensive Coordinator Todd Orlando, Offensive Coordinator Graham Harrell and Special Teams Coordinator Sean Snyder explained what they are planning for next season.

0731The program ended so Trojan Candy looked for the fourth spring recruit, Dave Parker. I was able to take his picture, but he had to leave. I'll interview you another time, Dave. FIGHT ON, Dave!

0733Then, I saw safety Talanoa Hufanga walking toward the door. I caught up with him! Talanoa, who is majoring in Communication, is a junior from Corvallis, Oregon. He likes to do anything outdoors. Talanoa's hobbies are hiking, boating, swimming, fishing and biking. His favorite food is pizza. Talanoa likes Polynesian music the most. His favorite movie is "Coach Carter." FIGHT ON, Talanoa!

0735Just then, a very familiar face came up to Trojan Candy. He was Kris O'Dowd (9/3/2009)! Kris showed me his Championship ring. I interviewed Kris almost eleven years ago in Heritage Hall. Wow!

0736My last picture of this remarkable evening is of two fellow Half Century Trojans members. Patti Poon and Jim Childs smiled for me.

With that, Trojan Candy says, "Good Night."