Samuel Levine, a senior majoring in psychology who was known for his thoughtfulness and optimism, died of severe head trauma on March 19 while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico during spring break. He was 22.According to KTLA, Mexican authorities say Levine fell six stories after climbing onto an air conditioning unit outside of his hotel room. The exact circumstances of his death, however, are unclear; Claire Becker, Levine’s girlfriend and a sophomore majoring in international relations and narrative studies, says he fell through an unstable part of the roof of a hotel.Passionate Trojan · Classmates of Levine said he influenced those in his life with his thoughtful comments and graceful confidence. — Courtesy of RIP Sam Levine Facebook pageLevine was born and raised in Oak Park, Calif., by his parents Michael and Debra Levine. He had two older brothers named Ryan and Andrew.“They have a really tight-knit family. All his relatives live nearby. They are the type of family that doesn’t judge, they are so accepting,” Becker said. “The first time I met Sam’s dad, Michael, he told me that his wife and boys were his best friends and the reason he lived.”Levine attended Oak Park High School, where he was a three-year varsity basketball player. He won the Tri-Valley League Most Valuable Player in his senior year in 2009.Sean Spear, a friend of Levine and a senior majoring in public policy, management and planning, said Levine was kind- hearted and thoughtful.“He was elected four times in a row for homecoming king, but was such a humble guy that he never wanted the spotlight on him,” Spear said. “He would always encourage his friends to vote for the other guys.”After graduating from high school, Levine showed his commitment to his community and his love for sports by returning to OPHS to coach the freshman and sophomore basketball team.Levine attended Moorpark College for one year before transferring to USC in 2010 as a sophomore.“Sam’s dream was to go to USC and that’s why we connected so well,” Spear said. “For Sam, there was nothing about USC that he wasn’t in love with. Everything he wanted in his college experience he got at USC. I remember him telling me he felt he was truly blessed to go to such a fine university.”Many of his friends remembered Levine for his strong sense of school spirit.“He was a proud Trojan,” said Justin Silber, one of Levine’s roommates and a senior majoring in business administration. “He wanted to go to USC his entire life. He loved Los Angeles. He was a Southern California kid.”Levine was an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. His fraternity brothers, who held a memorial for Levine Monday night, said he touched several lives during his time in the fraternity.“He was always quick to smile — very lighthearted, very kind, very caring — and probably one of the most genuine people I know,” said Ryan Park, a member of Sigma Chi . “[He was] always there if you wanted to talk about something heavy and always willing to give advice.”Becker also endearingly described his infectious personality.“I fell in love with him the first time I saw him,” Becker said. “He was so classy and such a gentleman and he was so charismatic that just looking at him made me smile. Everything that came out of his mouth was so thoughtful. He was very calm and collected and radiated confidence but not arrogance at all. I don’t think he knew how incredible he was, but everyone else could see it.”Levine was especially passionate about athletics.He was a practice player on the USC’s women’s basketball team his sophomore year and was a marketing director for the men’s baseball team his junior year. Upon graduation, Levine had his sights set on the sports industry.“He was looking to combine all the things he loved and had learned: sports, psychology and marketing,” Silber said.Levine’s friends said because his zeal for life resonated with many people, his impact will be felt forever.“In 22 years, Sam Levine was able to touch more people than others do in a lifetime,” Spear said. “He was a guy who truly made the world a better place. He will be dearly missed but I know his spirit will live on through all those who have been touched by knowing him.”Silber said the death of his roommate has left the community in shock.“It’s been a really somber and sobering experience realizing how good of a person we had,” Silber said. “He was the one person everyone loved and the one person everyone respected,” Levine’s funeral will be held today at 10 a.m. at Pierce Brothers Memorial Park in Westlake Village, Calif.
When you walk in to the USC baseball clubhouse after any given win, there are a few things you can expect to hear.First is a rousing rendition of the So-Cal Spell-Out, led by USC interim coach Frank Cruz after he speaks to the team.Second is the sound of Afro-Man’s “Colt 45” blaring over the speakers as the players shower.Finally, there is the unbridled joy of victory. Players shouting for no apparent reason, good-natured jibs, laughter and of course, Afro-Man sing-alongs.But those sounds haven’t been heard for more than two weeks, a span in which the Trojans have lost eight straight games.“It’s rough,” Cruz said. “We’re not getting the big hits we need. But we gotta stick with each other and we know the hits will start coming.”Yes, just a few hits here or there for the Trojans and their season thus far would be dramatically different. Five of their losses have been by just one run, and only one was by more than three.USC hasn’t been getting beaten by mediocre competition either. Six of the Trojans losses came against either No. 18 Rice, or No. 6 Cal State Fullerton. Only UC Santa Barbara—the Trojans most recent loss—is arguably a more inferior opponent.“You could see it wearing on the guys [in the UCSB game]” Cruz said. “They were sort of acting like ‘is this really gonna happen again?’ We just gotta get them to play baseball the way they know they can. Once the monkey’s off our back you’re gonna see a whole different team.”USC will have three chances against three different teams to snap its losing streak. It takes on St. Mary’s on Friday and Georgia on Saturday at Dedeaux Field. Both the Gaels and Bulldogs have losing records. A win in one of those games is important, because on Sunday, the Trojans will face No. 13 UCLA at Dodger Stadium.“It’ll be special,” Cruz said. “Any time you get a chance to play in a big league park it means a lot.”Senior Logan Odom will get the start for USC on Sunday. He took a hard luck loss last Sunday against Fullerton after allowing just two runs (one unearned) on three hits over seven and two-third innings. This season, he’s been the Trojans best starter by E.R.A.“Odom has been throwing the ball really well,” Cruz said. “All our pitchers have.”Indeed it has been the hitting that has plagued the Trojans on their current losing streak. They scored just five runs in three games last weekend against Fullerton and have averaged less than three runs a game on their current streak.The problem isn’t getting runners on, it’s getting them in. In their five one-run games the Trojans have put the tying run on base in the eighth or ninth inning every time, but simply haven’t gotten him in.“If you put yourself in those situations like we have, you gonna win one eventually,” Cruz said. “A ball is gonna find a hole. Baseball can change quickly, and we know it.”The Trojans could use quite a bit of change this weekend.
Yvette Martinez-Rea is the COO of ESL North America. She’ll be speaking on at the XLIVE Esports Summit in New York in August (22-23) on a panel titled ‘How women are playing a crucial role in the growth of esports’. She touches on that same subject here. Yvette Martinez, ESLEsports Insider: What can be done at a grassroots level to encourage the participation of more women in esports?Yvette: The uniqueness of esports is that it doesn’t have the physical restrictions of traditional sports. There are no limitations based on strength or speed, so it should be an even playing field for all genders in respect to performance. We need to be more inclusive at all levels, which is why ESL and Intel founded and support AnyKey, an organization to help diversity in the esports community. This organization exists to help women in esports, along with LGBTQ and racial minorities, feel supported through competition opportunities, highlighting role-models, and online forums to voice concerns in a safe environment. Even though the community is still very male dominant, we’ve heard from some of our CPG sponsors that they need to be more cognizant of the women that attend the events. A lot of guys who are coming to the events are bringing their girlfriends, and that’s one way the female audience is starting to grow and marketers will follow.ESI: What will you be discussing at your panel at XLIVE in August?Yvette: I’ll be discussing how women are playing a crucial role in the growth of esports and what it will take to get there.ESI: ESL is currently involved in the first season of the VR Challenger Series. Can you talk us through your thoughts on this and the potential of VR in esports?Yvette: The potential of VR in esports is endless and adds more to the tournament and viewing experience. It has proven successful for a few of our events, like the IEM Katowice World Championship in March. The VR broadcast attracted 340,000 unique viewers and registered a peak concurrent viewership of 3,000. The length of the engagement in VR broadcast doubled compared to IEM Oakland.ESI: What are your thoughts on female only teams and leagues? Is this the best way to go about levelling up the playing field?Yvette: I’m not sure if female only teams and leagues is the best way to go about levelling up the playing field. It’s a matter of getting more women gamers through the door, more female executives within the organisations, and creating an environment that is inviting to them.Disclaimer: Esports Insider is an Official Media Partner of XLIVE Esports Summit AnyKey is working towards having co-ed teams, and made its first stride at the IEM World Championships in Katowice, Poland where women’s teams compete on the main-stage, winning prize money alongside the professional men’s teams.ESI: Do you see most brands’ campaigns in esports to date being male focused? Are they missing a trick?Yvette: Yes, most brands to date are male focused, and that’s because the audience and viewers are predominantly male. However, what we are seeing is that the numbers are moving towards becoming less skewed, and that’s what brands are paying attention to.