Trojan Candy offers confections and conversation

first_imgWhen Candy Yee sits in the stands at a USC sporting event, she is doing more than just watching students play a game; she is cheering on the students that she has come to consider her children.“We’ll sit in the stands and we’ll see them playing like it’s my son or daughter out there,” Yee said. “It makes you proud of them. It makes you proud to be a Trojan.”Sweet stuff · Alumna Candy Yee works at the sports information desk in Heritage Hall on Thursdays and Fridays. She writes a blog about USC news and sport events. – Priyanka Patel | Daily TrojanYee and her husband, Jim, are regular fixtures at most home sporting events, but many students know them as the smiling faces, always ready with a cheerful greeting and some candy at the Heritage Hall information desk on Thursdays and Fridays.They began volunteering at the information desk about six years ago, but Yee had already been a member of the Trojan Family for nearly 50 years. In 1964, she moved from Houston to Los Angeles to begin her undergraduate degree in elementary education at USC.“It’s football that brought me in,” Yee said of her decision to attend USC over Columbia University, UC Berkeley and UCLA.It was more than just football that made her stay. As a student, Yee was involved in a variety of student organizations, including the election committee, the Amazons (now the Helenes) and the Delta Phi sorority.After graduating, she kept coming back, attending athletic events with her husband. She became a member of Town and Gown and the Trojan Guild. All three of her children were accepted to USC, and one of her daughters attended.“My daughter was also in Helenes,” Yee said. “It was kind of an honor to have her in it.”After retiring from 37 years as a teacher in Los Angeles, Yee heard about an opening for volunteers at the Heritage Hall information desk from a friend and she and her husband decided to volunteer.“I missed being with children,” she said. “A lot of the athletes that come in are like [my] kids.”Their official job is to help direct visitors and provide more information about USC, but when other volunteers suggested they give out candy, Trojan Candy was created.“We put some [candy] up, and then we started doing more and more different things,” Yee said. “Certain kids came, and they liked certain things so we’d make sure we had it next time, and it’s just kind of grown.”Now, students who stop by the information desk when the Yees are volunteering are treated to a variety of snacks, from a bag of chips to a candy bar. Most of their regular visitors are athletes, but many students and staff members also stop by for a hello and a snack.“[I love] meeting anybody that goes through Heritage Hall,” Yee said. “I love to meet the people and talk to them. I’ve been known to run out after people because I recognize their faces.”Yee said she knows about three-quarters of the football team, as well as many volleyball, basketball and track athletes. Redshirt sophomore De’Von Flournoy is one of many football players who began visiting Yee his freshman year.“On Wednesdays, I look forward to Thursdays knowing that before my 2:15 meeting, snacks will be here,” Flournoy said. “It’s one of the many traditions here.”Though free snacks might be the initial draw, Yee’s personality is the reason many students come back.“She’s very approachable,” Flournoy said. “It’s not like she just sits here and says hi. She actually asks about how you’re doing and offers an endless supply of goodies.”Yee and her husband pay for the snacks themselves, so they ask visitors for one simple favor — an interview and a photo for Yee’s blog, TrojanCandy.com.“All over the years, when I came to ’SC, I had thought about being a journalist,” Yee said. “I had really wanted to be one of the reporters that interviews the athletes, but in 1964 women didn’t interview athletes.”Yee now has the opportunity to fulfill her dream of interviewing athletes through her blog, which she and her husband began in 2008. The inspiration, however, was not originally to interview students, but to provide alternate sports coverage.“I call [the Los Angeles Times] the UCLA Times,” she said. “They always say nice stuff about UCLA, but put down USC. It’s not fair.”Yee uses her blog, Trojan Justice: The (UC)LA Times Watchdog, to critique the Los Angeles Times coverage, where she also reports on sporting events and interviews with Heritage Hall visitors.last_img read more

For De’Quan Hampton, the wait for the spotlight was worth it

first_imgAs the band boomed the Fight Song for the final time of the night, senior wide receiver De’Quan Hampton clambered up the director’s ladder and shoved the sword in his left fist into the air. Hampton bobbed up and down, shimmying and bouncing to the beat. On the field, his teammates cheered for him — “Yeah, ‘Quan! Get it, man!” It lasted for a minute, this moment in the spotlight. But for a transfer senior who’s seen little of the field and even less of the endzone, it was a moment to soak in. And after a 36-14 victory of UCLA — which he could take 12 points worth of credit for — Hampton was loving every second of it.“It was amazing,” Hampton said. “It felt like a dream.”Hampton’s role this season had been fairly secure — playing back-up behind the talented wide receiver unit of junior JuJu Smith-Schuster and senior Darreus Rogers, scrapping for minutes where he could get them. In the first 10 games of this season, he snagged four catches for a total of 22 yards, ranking 12th in team receiving yards behind redshirt sophomore Jalen Greene.But the UCLA game — like all rivalry games, tempestuous and unpredictable — called for a hero. And for three plays and a handful of minutes, Hampton became that player for the Trojans.It takes a perfect combination of variables to create a breakout game. For Hampton, that was a hip flexor and his quarterback’s trust.Smith-Schuster was hurting from the first drive of the game. He roped in a 28-yard catch to bring the Trojans to the 1-yard line, and sophomore running back Ronald Jones punched it in to tie the game with a typical USC offensive play. But in the second quarter, redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold threw an interception and Smith-Schuster, favoring his hip, limped into the locker room. The Bruins scored off a 7-yard touchdown pass, and suddenly the Trojans were trailing 14-7 in their rival’s home stadium.They needed someone to step up, and Hampton did it in style.He touched the ball three times in total, despite coming second behind Smith-Schuster in receiving yards for the game. But those three touches changed the momentum of the final game of conference play.The first time, Hampton ran his route down the left side of the field, stutter stepped, then lept into the air and snatched the ball from over the outstretched arms of his defender. Hampton had 6 inches on his defender, but the lofted toss required trust from Darnold that his receiver could make the play. For Darnold, it wasn’t hard to trust Hampton.“[Our coaches] really preach giving our guys a chance when they have one-on-one coverage,” Darnold said. “I think you’re never wrong throwing it to a guy one-on-one, especially when he’s in the position [Hampton] was. I always feel great throwing it up to them.” His second touch was a simple 6-yard pass that happened to be in the end zone, and happened to put the Trojans up 30-14 in a momentum-swinging third quarter. And the third was a 14-yard catch for a first down at the 50-yard line. Together, the three plays doubled Hampton’s season yardage. For head coach Clay Helton, this type of break-out play is necessary for the team to continue the success of their seven-game winning streak. “You have kids who have just been dying for their opportunity and they made the most of it,” Helton said. “That’s what a team is. You hope that when one guy goes down, another one has prepared himself to make those types of plays.”Saturday’s success was a welcome change for Hampton. Last year, he expressed frustration with the one-track focus of former quarterback Cody Kessler, who completed three times as many passes to Smith-Schuster than to any other receiver. It was a long season for Hampton. He had transferred from Long Beach Community College as a junior  and caught the ball only 15 times in his first year as a Trojan, and this year was going even more slowly until the game against UCLA. But Hampton said that after this year, he trusted that he would have his moment.“I didn’t doubt it, because I’ve seen chances come for other players,” Hampton said. “So I just say that means just keep grinding, because my chance might come this game or the next or the next. I just have to be ready.” When that moment came, he was an easy guy to cheer for, Darnold said. He describes the senior as a “goofy guy,” the type to lead dance parties on and off the field, cheering on his teammates from the sideline no matter how many minutes he played.The party in the Rose Bowl ended eventually, with Trojan fans booming out chants and singing along to “Tusk” as UCLA fans trickled out of the stands. After the final notes of the Fight Song rang out, Hampton climbed down from the ladder, joining his teammates in the locker room and basking in a flock of reporters’ cameras and recorders pressed into his face. That might be it for his moment. As a senior, he’ll have one, at most three, games left with the team. But if that’s the note he ends on — two touchdowns and a rivalry win — well, that’s just alright with him.“It was worth the wait,” Hampton said. “As much frustration as I had being in the position I was, waiting for the opportunity, when it came it’s all worth it.”last_img read more

Betgenius evolves BetBuilder adding NFL & NBA provisions

first_imgShare Betgenius expands virtual sports range with Kiron August 20, 2020 Related Articles BetInvest: The benefits of separating esports betting markets August 7, 2020 StumbleUpon Sky Sports grows American football offering with NFL channel August 14, 2020 Submit Share Matt Stephenson – BetgeniusBetgenius has announced the ‘next evolution’ of its BetBuilder product, adding greater market variety and control of pre-match betting inventory for sportsbook clients.The sports data technology group continues to enhance its BetBuilder vertical in partnership with next-generation sportsbook software supplier Sportcast, bringing new innovations to industry ‘Request-a-Bet’ standard disciplines.Expanding the product’s range, Betgenius adds the NFL and NBA as BetBuilder markets, which will be further supported by its fully managed feed offering pre-built popular bets and a wide-ranging set of player stats markets.Updating stakeholders, Betgenius details that deeper integration of pre-built betting inventory will help clients maximise market turnover, offering enticing same-game multis, combined with indexing of latest market trends and popular bets.Boosting market engagement, Betgenius enhances BetBuilder with acute player stats, allowing punters to include and customise selections such as Lebron James to score 30+ points, Sergio Aguero to have 5+ shots or Tom Brady to throw 300+ passing yards.Matt Stephenson, Global Partnerships Director at Betgenius, explains: “Our enhanced product set built in partnership with Sportcast adds even greater depth and flexibility to the pre-match experience. Ourfirst-of-a-kind BetBuilder has delivered extraordinary returns for operators and with the addition of US sports and player props among other new features, we believe there is huge success still to come.”Ryan Coombs – SportcastBetgenius’ latest enhancements, see the BetBuilder vertical now feature 400+ different markets covering all major football competitions, the NFL and NBA, significantly diversifying same-game possibilities, all accessible within an enhanced product interface driving player engagement and usability.Backing BetBuilder developments, Ryan Coombs, Managing Director at Sportcast, said: “It is our mission to bring the next generation of user experiences to the industry, player stats markets are a huge part of this picture and we are delighted to offer operators a suite of engaging products that further re-defines the pre-match experience.”last_img read more