A Victorious Day in Troy

    Local kids tour campus with student-athlete guides.

    Feb. 9, 2014

    By Sarah Bergstrom

    After a three-game losing streak, the USC Women's basketball team bounced back to top rival UCLA 68-54 last Saturday. The victory would not have been half as exciting without the help of roughly 5,000 special guests visiting USC for A Day in Troy.

    The day began with buses of local kids arriving on campus where they were welcomed by 174 student-athletes who led them on special campus tours that included stops at the newly renovated Heritage Hall and the state-of-the-art John McKay Center.

    After the tour, children ate lunch in Galen Center and participated in a SCORE educational session hosted by Radio Disney. Student-athletes provided their insight on the four quarters of the SCORE Initiative: physical health, academic excellence, teamwork and community responsibility. The day concluded with a pre-game autograph session where student-athletes from a variety of USC men's and women's teams signed A Day in Troy posters.

    USC's Director of Community Outreach, Matt Ackels, was thrilled with the day's success noting the importance of genuine involvement by the student-athletes. "Many of these children have never seen a college campus before or imagined what life is like as a college student," said Ackels. "We've had incredible student-athlete participation because our athletes are invested in taking their position in the community and using it for good."

    Head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was ecstatic to sweep rival UCLA in front of such a large crowd.

    "I thought this was one of our best starts to a game and start to a second half. We started the game with the correct level of intensity with defense and then we executed on the offensive end," said Cooper-Dyke.

    The USC Athletics Community Outreach Program will continue to bring local children to campus all spring through other SCORE events and the Girls PLAY program.