April and May (1) 2020 Candygrams

Go Home

Previous pageNext page

Thursday, May 14, 2020---2020 USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration Part 1

Normally, on the day before Commencement the USC Athletic Department hosts a USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration for all graduating Senior Athletes. This year Commencement was scheduled for May 15. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Celebration was held virtually today. Trojan Candy has attended these celebrations since 2011. You can see my blog articles of the USC Graduation Celebrations from 2011 to 2019 at this website.

The 2020 USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration has been posted by USC on YouTube. I decided to write about the speeches by Student-Athletes for the Celebration and the Awards and also honor all of the 2020 Athletic Seniors who have pictures in my blog or have been interviewed by Trojan Candy.

stevensThe first awards were the Stevens Scholars who achieved a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher.

TeeTee TerryTeeTee Terry was the first Student-Athlete to speak. She dedicated her speech to the young girls and boys at Liberty City and Brownsville who look up to her. Adversity there makes it difficult to live past 18 years. You can achieve any goal you set your mind to. Her life at USC has brought many laugh and tears in life's lessons for which she is forever grateful. When TeeTee arrived at USC in 2017, she wrote in her notebook the goals she wanted to achieve. One of them was to graduate in three years and she did. FIGHT ON, TeeTee!

Isaiah Champion JewettIsaiah Champion Jewett spoke next and he said that he chooses to fight on to achieve his dreams. He mentioned his sisters Victoria and Olympia. Graduation was only the beginning of our hero story. Everyone has a superpower and should follow your own dream. You will make mistakes, fall down, but always get up. Believe in yourself. Only USC fights on. This is your story. Write it how you want. You get stronger by finding your own path. Be the best you can be. FIGHT ON, Isaiah!

John ThomasJohn Thomas (2/6/2020) was the last Student-Athlete speaker and he talked about his journey at USC. He was inspired by Kobe Bryant's reply when asked about a summary of his career with a story. "The story would be about transformation. Of a kid looking inwardly to then growing up in understanding the importance and power of looking outwardly." John understood that Kobe was talking about the bigger picture. FIGHT ON, John!

Then the graduating Student-Athletes were honored.

The galleries are from screen captures of the Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration.

First Baseball was honored.

from video
Matthew Acosta, Augustus Culpo, Kevin Hankerd, Mitchell Hart, and Jacque Jones.
from video
Quentin Longrie, Tyler Pritchard, Brady Shockey, and John Thomason.

Trojan Candy took pictures of five future 2020 Seniors at the annual TBAA banquet on November 12, 2017.

2540Seated at the first table were teammates Lars Nootbaar, Angelo Armenta, Blake Sabol, Mitch Hart (Class of 2020), Tyler Pritchard (Class of 2020), Ben Ramirez, Bart West, and Matthew Acosta (Class of 2020). Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Mitch, Tyler, and Matthew!

25432020 Senior Brady Shockey was seated with Diller Paulson, John Beller, Trevor Halsema, Mason Perryman, (Brady Shockey,) Stephen Dubb, and Jarrett Pico. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Brady!

2547The fifth 2020 Senior Quentin Longrie was sitting with C.J. Stubbs, Brandon Perez, (Quentin Longrie,) Kyle Hurt, and Jamal O'Guinn. Standing: Isaac Esqueda, Christian Moya, Brad Wegman, Max Tishman, and Chase Bushor. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Quentin!

6764Trojan Candy was able to meet one more USC Baseball Senior on October 19, 2019. It was Homecoming weekend, and they were waiting to enter the USC Athletic Booth to sign autographs. From left to right are Quentin Longrie, Trevor Halsema, Brady Shockey and John Thomas. John Thomas (2/6/2020) was the new Senior.

97512909Additionally, Trojan Candy was able to interview Senior John Thomas at a Half-Century Trojan's 2020 Back to School Event. Here is his picture and you can look at his video also. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Thomas!

Men's and Women's Basketball

from video
Quinton Adlesh, Desmon Farmer, Jonah Mathews, Nicholas Rakocevic, and Daniel Utomi.
from video
Aliyah Jeune, Kayla Overbeck, and Stephanie Watts.

Trojan Candy would normally attend the USC Men's Basketball banquet every year, but the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled all athletic events for the Spring of 2020. However, I want to congratulate all five of the USC Men's Basketball Seniors with pictures and videos.

7954Jonah Mathews is the first basketball Senior to congratulate. Trojan Candy interviewed Jonah at the 2017 Men's Basketball banquet. Here is Jonah's picture when I interviewed him. Now read Jonah Mathews' (4/12/2017) interview. All USC Men's Basketball fans will forever remember that Jonah has scored the most three pointers of any USC basketball shooter.

0311Watch my video of his last regular season three point shot that beat the Bruins on March 7, 2020 in the last nine seconds of the game. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Jonah!

7221Redshirt Senior Daniel Utomi transferred from Akron with one season remaining in his eligibility. Trojan Candy was able to interview him when he and several teammates came to support the Women of Troy indoor Volleyball team. Read Daniels's interview on 11/7/2019.

4453Daniel was a starter for the men's game vs. UCLA on March 7, 2020. Here is the starting lineup for that night. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Daniel!

4450Graduate Senior Quinton Adlesh transferred from Columbia. Quinton is featured in this video of the five 2020 Seniors being introduced with their families on the Galen Center Big Screen before the UCLA game.

Quinton was also named to the starting lineup against UCLA on March 7, 2020, in the video for Daniel Utomi. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Quinton!

3165Trojan Candy met and interviewed Senior McKay Anderson at a preseason kick-off for our 2018 USC Men's Basketball Team. You can read McKay's interview at my Men's Basketball Preview on October 16, 2018.

Meet McKay and his family in the Senior Salute video before the UCLA game on March 7, 2020, that I used for Quenton Adlesh. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, McKay!

2234The last USC Basketball Senior to be honored is Nick Rakocevic. Trojan Candy interviewed Nick on August 26, 2016 at a Women of Troy Volleyball match vs. Marquette.

3979Here is another picture of Nick that I took at a Men's Basketball Scrimmage on October 19, 2016. Nick was introducing himself to fans and supporters. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Nick!

Trojan Candy thought that only five USC Men's Basketball players graduated in 2020. But after I watched the USC Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration on Facebook on Thursday, May 14, 2020, Trojan Candy saw that Desmon Farmer, who played basketball at USC in 2000-2004, had come back to USC to take classes and earn his degree. Good for him!

86488650Trojan Candy had interviewed Desmon recently on December 20, 2019. Desmon and his family had come to enjoy the Women of Troy basketball game vs. Nevada. Our women beat Nevada 50-47.

His son won a tee shirt by making a free throw. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Desmon and Son!

Now for the Women of Troy 2020 Basketball Seniors. Trojan Candy was lucky to be able to attend a reception in the Galen Center after the Women of Troy's last regular season game vs. Colorado in 2020. The ladies beat Colorado 66-55. I was able to interview two of the three Seniors.

0646The first Senior I interviewed was Aliyah Jeune. Aliyah is a Graduate transfer from Morehead State. Read her interview (3/1/2020) at the Women of Troy Basketball Senior Salute.

0661Trojan Candy was also able to meet Aliyah's family at the reception. Meet Aliyah's dad Patrick, her mom Kelly and her brother Anthony.

Finally, see my video of Aliyah's farewell to her teammates and fans at https://youtu.be/tSIMRr_Je71. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Aliyah!

0647Senior Kayla Overbeck was Trojan Candy's second interview at the Basketball Senior Salute reception. I took her picture first, then I interviewed her. Read her interview (3/1/2020) next.

0663Kayla posed with some of her family at the reception. Meet Simone, Kayla, Skylar, Summer and her mom Shanon standing in the back. In the front row were Grandma Sharon, sisters Scarlett and Keira.

Trojan Candy also took a video of Kayla's farewell to her teammates and fans. It is at https://youtu.be/1nYhvMtMjoo. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Kayla!

4431Unfortunately, the third Senior at the reception, Stephanie Watts left the reception early, so I wasn't able to interview her. Luckily, Stephanie will play on the team next season. I can interview her then. To meet Stephanie's family you can view the video that I took of her, Aliyah and Kayla before the Colorado game started.

0599Trojan Candy was also able to take this picture of Stephanie with her family at the Senior Salute. Meet Stephanie's family and her USC Coaches. From left to right were her brother Douglas, his fiancé Genesis, Coach Jason Glover, Head Coach Mark Trakh, Stephanie, mother Rhonda, Coach Aarika Hughes and Assistant Coach Erin Grant. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Stephanie!

Beach Volleyball

from video
Joy Dennis, Cameron Dorn, and Haley Hallgren

Trojan Candy was very lucky to have attended the USC Beach Volleyball Kick-Off at the Merle Norman Stadium on Friday, February 21. 2020. I was able to interview several new players. Some were incoming freshmen and others were seniors or graduate students.

Trojan Candy was able to take this picture of Beach Volleyball graduate student Belen Castillo. Belen posed with teammates Maja Kaiser and Paige Dreeuws. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Belen!

I have known Senior Joy Dennis for almost four years. Trojan Candy interviewed her on March 2, 2017, when she was a freshman.
At the May 8, 2018, Beach Volleyball Banquet, Trojan Candy took this picture of Joy with her mom Julie and her dad Darryl. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Joy!
Another Beach Volleyball Senior whom I have known for almost four years is Cammie Dorn. Trojan Candy interviewed Cammie the same day (3/2/2017) I interviewed Joy Dennis.

Then, Cammie posed with teammates Josannah Vazquez, Maja Kaiser, Alexandra Poletto, Tina Grandina, Joy Dennis, and Karina Myszkowski at the Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Kickoff on February 22, 2019. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Cammie!
Trojan Candy met Hailey Harward (2/21/2020), a graduate transfer from Long Beach State, just recently in 2020. I was able to take Hailey's picture and interview her at the 2020 Beach Volleyball Kick-Off.

Hailey was introduced with the rest of the 2020 Team in this video that I took at the Kick-Off. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Hailey!

The last 2020 Beach Volleyball Senior is Haley Hallgren (2/22/2018). Trojan Candy met and interviewed Haley at the 2018 Beach Volleyball Kick-Off.

At the 2019 Beach Volleyball Kickoff, Trojan Candy took this picture of Haley with Beach Volleyball alumnae Jo Kremer and Paige Harris. Congratulations and FIGHT ON, Haley!


from video
Bradley Dalrymple, Henry Fusaro, Naomi Gowlett, and Carly Souza
The only 2020 Senior diver whom I met was Carly Souza. I met her at a USC Water Polo fund raiser at the Terranea Resort on October 26, 2018.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020---My Email to Michael Pittman

Hi A.D. Mike Bohn,

Please forward my email to Football Senior Michael Pittman.

Thank you. It is as follows:

Hi Michael,

I am so glad that I was able to meet you at the USC Football Recruiting Celebration Dinner on February 3, 2016. You were the first recruit that I met and interviewed that night. (www.trojancandy.com 2/3/16) I can’t believe how fast four years have flown by!

What an unbelievable Trojan you have become. Your volunteering, your work ethic, your team leadership, your caring for other football teammates that you told me “Were your kids,” (www.trojancandy.com 8/16/19), your scholarship and your spokesmanship growth have blossomed at USC.

I am so glad that you decided to stay and play your Senior year at USC. It has really worked out well for you. The best of luck in the upcoming NFL Draft!

Candy Yee USC Class of 1968 Trojan Candy

Visit trojancandy.com.

Saturday, April 4, 2020---My Email to Jonah Mathews

Below is the email I wrote to Senior Jonah Mathews. Below the email are two pictures and a video of Jonah that I took during his career at USC. Enjoy.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Hi Athletic Director Mike Bohn,

Please send my email to Men’s Basketball Senior Jonah Mathews.

Thank you,
Candy Yee

Hi Jonah,

I can’t believe that it has been three years ago when I first met you at the Men’s Basketball banquet on Wednesday, 4/12/17. Your interview can be found at my blog www.trojancandy.com. If you click/tap the “Find a picture” button, all of your posts will show in my index. I still have one more blog article to write about...your victory over the Bruins. I should post that blog in about two weeks. [The article about the victory over the Bruins on March 7 has been posted.]

I was hoping to see you again at the 2020 Men’s Basketball Banquet, but that doesn’t seem possible now. I wanted to meet your mom and dad and tell them what a wonderful job they did raising such a fantastic son. I love seeing your friendly smile first. I know that your parents have taught you to have good manners, be a hard worker in your studies and in your basketball skills and effort, and to never give up. I am so glad that you chose to be a Trojan!

Thank you for your “Thank you, USC” letter. What a thoughtful farewell to your fans and USC Alumni friends.

Good luck in your pro-basketball and later broadcasting career!

Stay safe and healthy and KEEP FIGHTING ON!

Candy Yee
USC Class of 1968

Visit trojancandy.com.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Trojan Candy's interview of Jonah (4/12/2017).
Jonah's "MVP" video of the USC Victory over LSU (12/21/2019).
Jonah's smile for Trojan Candy's picture after beating UCLA (March 7, 2020).