After a decorated Olympic and pro career, Kawika Shoji retires from competition
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Shoji family is volleyball royalty in Hawaii.
Whether it was Dave coaching or his sons, Kawika and Erik, playing on the global stage, they’ve always represented Hawaii well.
Now, Kawika Shoji is back home after announcing his retirement from competition this week.
The Iolani alum and two-time Olympian has compiled a full resume, which includes national champion and All-American honors at Stanford, 12 years on the U.S. National team and extensive experience playing professionally.
“We were only home for like two or three weeks a year with the lifestyle that we had,” Shoji said.
“Playing with the Olympic team in the summers and then overseas in the winters ... whirlwind is the right term, but just such a valuable experience to get to do that.”
But life on the road is a grind, especially with a young family, and Shoji says there’s nothing like being home.
“I just really cherished my time growing up here in the islands and all the friends and family that we have here,” Shoji said. “So I wanted to give that experience to my own young girls.
“That’s the next step for us and we’re really excited.”
The 34-year-old is already jumping in to the next phase of his career ― working as a financial advisor and portfolio manager. It’s a post-athletics plan he’s been focusing on for years.
“Here we are just diving into something,” Shoji said. “Hopefully, I can inspire the next generation of athletes and help them with their transition, too because it’s not always easy.
“Thankfully, I’ve had so many mentors and people in the community that have been willing to help.”
For those wondering, just like his dad, he plans on coaching.
But he’s going to take some time to enjoy off-court life first.
“I’m always gonna be connected to the sport,” Shoji said. “I’m always gonna be working on coaching projects and mentorship. Those are passion projects that I want to be involved with in the community moving forward.”
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