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#USCHero

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As has become a tradition at USC football games, we pay tribute to a serviceman or woman nominated by you, the Trojan Family.  If you have a candidate for the "Hero of the Game" on-field recognition, click here to nominate your hero.

We would also like photos of you and your heroes, please Tweet or Instagram the pictures using #USCHero, and we'll incorporate them into our video board promotion.  Thank you and Fight On.

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Women's Volley Season Tix

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USC women's volleyball is ready to light up Galen Center for another exciting season starting with Texas A&M on Thursday, September 11, and culminating in a crosstown showdown with UCLA on Friday, November 28.  In all, the Women of Troy play a dozen home matches against elite opponents like Florida, Oregon, Washington, Cal and Stanford.

Click here for season tickets!!

Fans can purchase season tickets to all 12 matches for just $50 which is a $37 savings off the cumulative ticket price.  Once again, the Women of Troy are expected to compete for the conference title led by junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio and reigning AVCA National Freshman of the Year Ebony Nwanebu.

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USA Men's Volley at Galen

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Team USA Men's Volleyball will take on Iran at the Galen Center (Saturday, August 9 at 7 p.m.) as part of a four-match swing through Southern California, including stops in Anaheim (August 13), San Diego (August 15) and UCLA (August 16).

Click here for more info.

The Americans are ranked No. 4 in the world thanks in large part to the contribution of two Trojans, setter Micah Christenson and outside hitter Murphy Troy (pictured).  Christenson is going into his senior year at USC, so Team USA is just a summer gig, while Troy is a former National Player of the Year for the Trojans.

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Great Expectations

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USC returns several big time talents in 2014, but junior wideout Nelson Agholor is the only Trojan listed on the preseason watch list for the Walter Camp National Player of the Year.

Click here for the complete list.

The Florida product has shined in Los Angeles leading the team in receiving yards (918) and yards per catch (16.39) last season, while also making his mark as a second team All-American punt returner.  Agholor averaged 19.06 yards per punt return, which ranked second in the nation, and he took two back for scores against Cal.

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Zamperini Memorial

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Louis Zamperini's funeral was limited to a private service for family and close friends, but for the many readers that have asked, Torrance is holding a public memorial for the hometown hero and American icon on July 31 at 6 p.m. inside Zamperini Stadium at Torrance High School.

Click here for more details.

Also, a new trailer has been released for Unbroken, the feature film coming out this Christmas about Zamperini's inspirational life.  If the preview is any indication, no Trojan will want to miss this film.


USC Takes Over USAVB

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Lori Okimura, a former USC sports information intern, became the first Asian-American elected chair of the USA Volleyball Board of Directors, while former USC women's volleyball two-time national champion April Ross will serve on the Board of Directors. 

Click here for more on the Okimura story.

April Ross POY.jpgOkimura is the president/CEO of Creative Sports Strategies with extensive experience in sales, marketing and promotion of various major volleyball and beach volleyball organizations and events, including several USAV Junior National Qualifiers. 

"This is a very humbling moment," Okimura said. "I've spent my entire life involved in volleyball, beach volleyball and, most recently, learning about sitting volleyball. I have a deep appreciation for those serving in our sport, the very resourceful and diligent staff of USAV, and especially the men and women who represent the U.S. at the highest levels."

Ross will serve as the board's female beach volleyball player representative through 2017.  The Olympic silver medalist is currently at the top her sport with teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings.

"Since the sport has afforded me many opportunities, I feel very compelled to give back to the volleyball community and USAV," Ross said. "I want to help shape the sport going into the future, looking out for the interests of the players, and being an integral part of developing the emergence of the beach volleyball pipeline."

USC at the ESPY's

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The annual ESPY Awards celebrating the year in sports took place just down Figueroa last night at LA Live.  Trojans were all over the ESPN telecast showing off their style and their smiles.

Nick "Swaggy P" Young served as a fashion correspondent on the ESPN pre-show.  St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher was there to support his new draftee, the courageous Michael Sam, while Malcolm Smith continues to soak in the glory of his Super Bowl MVP performance. 


Ready to Run

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USC football has a talented trio of featured running backs this season led by Buck Allen and Tre Madden (pictured), who were both on the Doak Walker Preseason Watch List released today.  Sophomore Justin Davis, who averaged 6.81 yards per carry last season, could easily join Allen and Madden in any awards discussion.

Click here for the complete list.

Allen (134 carries for 774 yards) and Madden (138 carries for 703 yards) posted similar numbers last season, although Buck found the end zone 14 times to Tre's three rushing touchdowns in 2013.  Davis was second on the team in rush TDs with six as a freshman as he carried the ball 53 times for 361 yards.

Fullback Soma Vainuku actually led the Trojans in yards per carry last season at 9.75 per hand-off, while USC will also be boosted by the return to health of veteran D.J. Morgan. 

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Fuel On

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Recent NCAA legislation will allow schools to provide nutrition to student-athletes more often, effective August 1. USC welcomes that opportunity, another step by the school in the cause of student-athlete welfare.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 4.05.37 PM.pngUSC will provide all of its 650-plus student-athletes, scholarship and walk-on, with additional and enhanced daily fueling opportunities.  This "enhanced fueling plan" will cost the USC athletic department in excess of $1 million annually.

"I have always felt we needed to find new avenues to provide our student-athletes with the additional nutritional requirements they need to replenish their bodies after training and competition," said USC athletic director Pat Haden.  "I am delighted that USC is now allowed to do this.  Although the program is a significant new expense, it is the right thing to do as we keep in mind the best interests of our student-athletes' welfare."

The athletic department already employs two sports dietitians, Becci Twombley and Kristy Morrell, to manage the nutrition of all its student-athletes.  They will oversee the enhanced "fueling" program.

"This is more than just allowing more food to be brought to the table," said Twombley, a former board member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association.  "This offers the opportunity to implement a department-wide fueling philosophy that brings the science of recovery nutrition to all 21 of USC's sports.  Providing the tools that each student-athlete needs based on their position, role and performance goals will give our student-athletes the opportunity to achieve their potential from the inside out.

"USC is one of just a few schools poised to take advantage of this new rule on a department-wide scale. Because of this, our student-athletes now will be fully prepared to compete at the highest level."

Twombley said that USC will add high protein foods to its fueling stations in the McKay Center and Galen Center, smoothie stations will be enhanced to allow for better customization of recovery fueling, and snack bags will be available to provide high antioxidant foods to control inflammation.

By adding these foods throughout the day, Twombley said that muscle growth and recovery will be more efficient, with an end result of a more resilient student-athlete. 

DeRozan Camping with Team USA

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USC men's basketball alum DeMar DeRozan was selected for the 19-man Team USA Las Vegas training camp in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup.  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski will pare down the roster to 12 players by August 30.

Click here for the complete roster.

Coming off his first All-Star season, DeRozan will have the opportunity to battle American superstars like Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Blake Griffin for a spot on the team.  He averaged career-highs across the board in 2013-14 including 22.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

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