Bari, Italy, September 18, 2018 – Brothers Erik and Kawika Shoji have reunited to play for Team USA after spending the 2017-2018 season on opposite sides of the net. The libero and setter of the United States spent the last club season with Taiwan Excellence Latina and Gi Group Monza in Italy’s first division but are obviously happy to play together again and especially to represent USA at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2018.
Kawika, born in 1987, finished the last edition of the Italian national league in fifth place, thus securing a spot for Monza to participate in the 2019 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup. Erik, who is two years younger, had to be content with eleventh place in what many regard as the most competitive national league across the globe.
Despite being apart for quite some time, Kawika and Erik maintain a strong bond. They started playing back home in Hawaii under the guidance of father Dave, himself a former volleyball player, and mum Mary, who devoted herself to basketball in her youth.
Erik and Kawika will move to Russia and Poland for the 2018-2019 season to wear the shirt of Fakel Novy Urengoy and Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, respectively. “This participation in a World Championship is something truly special and to be able to represent USA together with my brother is a dream come true,” Kawika says. “We have been playing together for quite some time and it is fun to be able to do that at such a high level,” Erik continues. “This tournament is another step forward along the way that will hopefully take us to the Olympics in 2020, where we would love to play together and represent USA again. That is the ultimate dream.”