May (2) 2023 Candygrams

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023---Meet Woman of Troy Water Polo Player Bayley Weber

Bayley WeberTrojan Candy was fortunate to interview Bayley Weber. The first question I asked Bayley, who is from Los Alamitos, is, “Why did you choose to play water polo at USC?" Bayley wrote, “I chose to play water polo at USC not only because of the high-performance team, but because of the great academics USC has to offer.”

The next question was, “What is your major? Minor?" Bayley told me, “I graduated in May of 2022 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Juvenile Justice and Social Work. I am currently working towards earning my MSW, Master’s of Social Work. With this, I am interning at New Earth, a non-profit in Culver City, and it has allowed me to work first-hand with the at-risk youth population.”

"Are you a member of any USC organization?" Bayley said, “I am a member of Athletes in Action. Then she wrote about Athletes in Action’s Mission Statement:


Brokenness exists in every area of life, including sports. But we believe there is a remedy to the brokenness of the world in the gospel of Jesus. Athletes experience brokenness both personally and as part of sport culture. They also have unmatched influence in their communities and around the globe. Since 1966, we have been helping athletes experience the hope and purpose that comes from following Jesus and equipping them to use their platform to be part of God’s mission in the world to make disciples of all nations.

By serving, training, and sending athletes as influencers into the world, we are building spiritual movements everywhere through the platform of sports so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.

"What profession are you entering after graduation?" “After graduation, I am hoping to enter Law Enforcement and work in human trafficking and/or forensics."

Next, Bayley answered more personal questions. Trojan Candy asked Bayley, “What is your favorite food?” Her answer was mac-n-cheese, steak, and melon.
"What is your favorite television show?" Bayley likes “Fire Country and the Chicago’s (Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med)."
"Favorite music style?" “I listen to a lot of Christian Music (FM 100.3 and 95.9)
"Do you have any hobbies?" Bayley wrote, “I love to go for walks along the beach.”

Thanks for the personal interview, Bayley!

Congratulations on earning your Master’s of Social Work!


Friday, May 5, 2023---Meet Woman of Troy Water Polo Senior Claire Haas

Mike, Claire, and Laurie HaasTrojan Candy was able to interview Senior Claire Haas by email. Here she is with her parents, Mike and Laurie, at Senior Day on April 15.

Claire chose these questions to answer:

Why did you choose to play water polo at USC? "I chose USC because of the family culture it has. It's an extremely tight knit community that takes care of each other."

Do you have any family members or family athletes who also attended USC? "I do not."

Are you a member of any USC organization? Do you hold an office in this organization? "I'm a part of 3D4E which is the 3D-printing club on campus. Within this club, I'm in freehand where we make 3D printed prosthetics free of charge for children in the community."

Do you attend any other USC athletic events? "I try to as much as possible!"

What is your major? Minor? "I graduated last spring with my BS in Mechanical Engineering and currently am working towards an MS in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management."

Congratulations, Claire, on earning your B.S. in Mechanical Engineering last spring.

Then, Claire answered more personal questions:

Favorite foods? Drinks? "I love ravioli and ice cream. Favorite drink is probably Dr. Pepper or Sprite."

Favorite movie? Book? Television show? Actor? Actress? "Love all Gillian Flynn books and the Song of Achilles. Favorite show is definitely .

Do you have any hobbies? "I love to read and spend time outdoors. Hiking is one of my favorite things."

Where have you traveled? What was your favorite travel location? "I've traveled to Europe a lot, and I love Budapest and Edinburgh."

Do you play a musical instrument? "No, but I'm currently trying to learn the guitar.

Good for you, Claire! You have so many fascinating interests!

Congratulations and KEEP FIGHTING ON!

Wednesday, May 3, 2023---USC Men’s Basketball Awards Banquet

0910My husband Jim and I arrived early at the USC Hotel for the USC Men’s Basketball Awards Banquet. We weren’t the only early arrivals. Our friends Doris and Mel Hughes posed for this picture.

09140913As soon as the doors opened to the dining area, I rushed in, found our table, got my camera, and rushed out to interview any new basketball players I could find. The first player I saw was sitting at a table near the stage. I introduced myself to Kijani Wright and asked him if I could interview him. Kijani told me that he grew up in the Los Angeles area and that USC gave him his first offer when he was in the 7th grade. As for other sports, Kijani said that he also played volleyball and flag football in middle school. He said that his father played basketball for Pomona and his older brother ran track. More personally, Kijani’s favorite music is hip hop, rap and rhythm and blues. His favorite food is steak and chicken wings. As for his hobbies, Kijani likes to go see movies. Situation comedies are his favorites. He likes to watch cooking shows too. His favorite video game is “Call of Duty.” So glad to meet you, Kijani and FIGHT ON!

0918Fan Thomas Harmon posed with Kijani and Trojan Candy took their picture.

09210920Next, Trojan Candy was able to take a picture of Vincent Iwuchukwu and interview him. Vincent told me that he played soccer at first, then he started playing basketball when he was 14. Next, I asked Vince why he chose USC. Vince said, “I liked L.A.. There is a great culture in L.A. I liked all of the coaches. Who doesn’t want to win!” More personally, Vincent’s favorite music artist is rapper Jermaine Cole. Vincent likes Cole’s “Born Sinner” the most. He also likes a wide variety of “All Types of Anime” and the Korean Drama Series DVD "I’m Not a Robot.” So glad to meet you also, Vincent and FIGHT ON!

Standing nearby Vincent were Head Coach Andy Enfield and his wife Amanda.
Here were the trophies that would be awarded to the deserving players.
Trojan Candy walked around the ballroom taking pictures of the team, coaches, and staff. Director of Scouting Kurt Karis (9/28/2022) was with Harrison Hornery, Jack Gentry, and Zach Brooker.
Director of Scouting Desmon Farmer and his wife Nicole smiled for me.
Then, Trojan Candy saw three familiar faces. Kobe Johnson (4/14/2022) stood between his dad Roderick and mom Stacy. I met Kobe’s parents last year at the banquet.

Stacy told me that Roderick played basketball at U.W. and she played at Milwaukee. She also told me that Kobe’s older brother Jalen is playing basketball for the Atlanta Hawks now. What an athletic family! KEEP FIGHTING ON, Kobe!

I saw friend Mel Hughes conversing with Coach Andy Enfield.
Standing at the stage were Rejean Tremaine Ellis (Boogie’s dad), Boogie Ellis (4/14/2022), and Vince Iwuchukwu.
Then Boogie was flanked by Doris Hughes and ?
Boogie must have been all over the room! In the next picture Boogie posed with my friend Kent Hollenbeck, and Desmon Farmer.

0947Trojan Candy’s next picture was of Joshua Morgan (4/14/2022) and Kobe Johnson.

0951I finally made it back to my table. We sat close to the buffet table. After we finished dinner, my good friend and official photographer for tonight’s Men’s Basketball Banquet, Pierson Clair, used my camera to take this picture of the people at my table. Thanks, Pierson! Standing were Trojan Candy, Kevin, Jim Yee, and Patti and Dudley Poon; sitting were Patricia, Oziyah Sellers, Desmon, and Nicole.

0953Trojan Candy took time to interview the USC player who was sitting at our table. Namely, Oziyah Sellers. Oziyah was a freshman last year and he graduated from Southern California Academy in 2022 with Vincent Iwuchukwu. Oziyah is from Haywood, CA, and he is majoring in Communications. He chose USC for its academics and it is the “perfect distance from home.” More personally, Oziyah told me he played football and basketball until the 7th grade. Then he stopped playing football. More personally, Oziyah’s hobby is basketball. His favorite food is pizza. Oziyah’s favorite movie is “Pursuit of Happiness.” He likes hip hop, rap, and R & B music the best. His favorite music artist is Young Thug. As for family, Oziyah has two younger sisters who run track, and an older brother who attends San Diego State. So nice to meet you, Oziyah, and FIGHT ON!

Now, it was time for the program to start. Jordan Moore made the introductions.
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[Video] This video of highlights from the 2022-2023 season was shown.
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[Video] Athletic Director Mike Bohn welcomed all the guests via video conference. Some player highlights were shown. Recent graduate Drew Peterson (4/14/2022) spoke by video conference. He is meeting with NBA teams now. Good Luck, Drew!
Then Head Coach Andy Enfield stepped up to the podium.
Here was the audience.
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[Videos] Coach Enfield spoke about how inexperienced this year’s team was at first and how much they improved during the season.

Now it was time to hand out the team awards.

Zach Brooker was awarded the Dr. James H. Zumberge Academic Award for the highest GPA (3.478 in Business Administration).
The Bill Sharman Best Free Throw Percentage Award was given to Kobe Johnson, who shot 84.1%.
The John Rudometkin Award for 110% effort was awarded to two players. Kijani Wright was given the award first. Then, Harrison Hornery was given the award next.
Both John Rudometkin Award winners.
The Forrest Twogood Memorial Award for Best Defensive Player was given to two players, Kobe Johnson and Joshua Morgan.
Both Forrest Twogood Memorial Award winners.
The Ryan Francis Scholarship Recipient was Oziyah Sellers.
Vincent Iwuchukwu was chosen as the Most Inspirational Player (Ernie Holbrook Memorial Award).
The Harold Jones Memorial Award (Most Improved) was awarded to Kobe Johnson.
The Most Valuable Player (Sam Barry Award) was awarded to two players, Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson (in absentia).
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[Videos] While I took pictures at the stage, my husband Jim took videos of the Awards Ceremony.
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[Video] Coach Enfield finished the Award Ceremony with many positive remarks about next year’s team.
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[Video] After the Awards Ceremony ended, the Spirit of Troy hyped us up! KEEP FIGHTING ON, Spirit of Troy!
Trojan Candy saw the opportunity to take a picture of Boogie Ellis and his mom Rowiena Simpson.
I took as many pictures that I could as fast as I could. Vincent Iwuchukwu posed with Dudley and Patti Poon.
Oziyah Sellers held his trophy for me.
Kurt Karis and his fiancé Jillian smiled for me. They are getting married in September 2023. Congratulations and Best Wishes, Kurt and Julian!
Kent Hollenbeck and Harrison Hornery posed for me.
Kijani Wright, Desmon Farmer, Vincent Iwuchukwu and Oziyah Sellers posed for me.

1010My last picture was of Coach Andy Enfield with Patti and Dudley Poon.

KEEP FIGHTING ON, USC Men’s Basketball!