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Fight On for Ol' SC

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From all of us here at the USC Athletic Department, a big thank you, good luck and Fight On to Andie Hagemann who is graduating today.  Here is her farewell column:

Written by Andie Hagemann, USC blog contributor

Over the past year, I have contributed to the Rips It Blog. Among my duties, I was fortunate enough to interview dozens of student-athletes, coaches, and alumni. After telling the remarkable stories of my fellow Trojans, I thought I would share one last story about another extraordinary Trojan.

Since I was four years old, I knew I wanted to attend USC. Though in preschool and without any conception of what college truly was, I had the strong desire to be a Trojan. This inclination was not random as I was spawned from a family of Trojans. My grandfather (James "Jim" Basso), uncle (Steven Basso, Class of 1979) and brother (Steven Hagemann, Class of 2009) all attended the university. Both my grandfather and uncle held positions on the board of the Ventura County Trojan Club.

My family has been season ticket holders for decades. In fact, you can find any combination of them in Section 21, Row 17. Fall Saturdays were split between AYSO soccer games and the Coliseum for those late kick-offs. When the Trojans were on the road, I watched the games intently with my family, playing a recording of "Fight On!" after each touchdown. During those rough seasons or the occasional tough game here and there, my grandfather would smack the chair after an incomplete pass or interception. He was the ultimate armchair quarterback.

I credit my love for USC and sports to my grandfather. It is difficult to fathom anyone loving USC more than him. He donned his cardinal and gold nearly every day and embodied everything that it means to be a Trojan. He was a friend to all and his altruism was apparent in his immense generosity.

My grandfather never missed a USC game. Once, he skipped a relative's wedding to watch the Trojans face Notre Dame. Along with my uncle, he traveled with the team on the road and visited the campus weekly for Monday Morning Quarterback. He maintained friendships with legendary former USC coaches John McKay, John Robinson, and Marv Goux. Whenever the Trojans lost a tough battle, my grandfather would always say, "I'd rather lose as a Trojan than win as anything else."

His military service during the Korean War prevented him from finishing his degree at USC. However, my grandfather did not let it keep him from supporting his beloved school. My grandfather embodied the meaning of "Fight On." He suffered through countless surgeries and medical treatments without a single complaint. He was a true soldier and inspiration. After a lengthy battle with cancer, I lost my best friend on May 31, 2007.

During my time at USC, I have been blessed with numerous opportunities. I was fortunate to solo-host a sports radio show on KXSC, broadcast football and basketball games, be a columnist for the Daily Trojan, and work for Rips It. I am living the dream. Though my future is still uncertain at the moment, I know that I will continue to chase my dream to be a sports broadcaster.

My grandfather taught me to never give up and his unbreakable spirit serves as an inspiration to me every day. After the Spring Game, I walked through the Coliseum tunnel for possibly the last time. As expected, it was an emotional moment. The Coliseum served as a second home to both my grandfather and I. I immediately thought about how proud my grandfather would be of my accomplishments thus far. I not only fulfilled my dream of graduating from USC but his as well. I know Friday morning as I walk across the stage at the Annenberg Commencement ceremony, he will be looking on from above. I am immensely proud to be a Trojan and I am ever thankful to everyone that helped me get here today. Fight On!

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2 Comments

ummmmm. HECK. YES.

What a beautiful article Andie!!!
Your Grandfather is very proud of you and so are your Mom and Dad....Fight On!!!

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