March 22, 2020 – By NJP

Some words of encouragement to the New Jersey Volleyball community from one of the best Libero’s in the Universe. Erik Shoji is currently on the other side of the world as his season with the Russian club Fakel Novy Urengoy has been postponed, but he took the time to send us this message…

An amazing gesture from this amazing player. Please follow Erik on instagram at

From the Team USA website:

Name: Erik Shoji

Position: Libero

Height: 6-0 (184 cm)

Weight: 160 lbs (75kg)

Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

High School: Punahou School ’08

College: Stanford (2012)

Olympic Experience

  • 2016 Olympic Games (Bronze medal)

World Championship Experience

  • 2018 World Championship (Bronze medal)
  • 2014 World Championship (7th place)

Other Career Highlights

  • Named Best Libero as the U.S. Men won the 2015 FIVB World Cup and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
  • Started every set of the 2014 World League Final Round where the U.S. Men won the gold medal
  • Became the first four-time first-team All-America in the history of AVCA honors
  • Helped the U.S. Men win bronze at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League and World Championship
  • Was the best digger in the final round of the 2018 World Championship with 74 digs on 112 attempts
  • Helped the U.S. Men win gold medal at the 2017 NORCECA Championship
  • At the 2016 Olympic Games, finished first among diggers (1.81 digs per set) and second among receivers (75 excellent receptions and 11 faults on 166 attempts).
  • Named Best Receiver at 2015 NORCECA Champions Cup
  • Named tournament MVP, Best Libero, Best Digger and Best Receiver at the 2014 NORCECA World Championship Qualifier
  • Started all 39 sets of the 2013 FIVB World League and led all players in pool play with 118 digs
  • Has played professionally in Germany and Russia
  • Received the Biff Hoffman Award as Stanford’s Outstanding Male Senior
  • While at Stanford, Erik and brother Kawika became the first brothers ever to earn AVCA all-America first-team honors in the same year
  • While playing for Stanford, had a “kick set” featured on ESPN’s Plays of the Week
  • Set the unofficial national record for digs in a season (2008), with 447 (the NCAA began to keep official records in 2009)
  • Competed for the United States at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China
  • Member of the Men’s Junior National Team that took bronze at the NORCECA Continental Championships in El Salvador and was named Best Passer, Best Defender, and Best Libero of the Tournament
  • Member of the Boys’ Youth National Team that took silver in the NORCECA Continental Championships in the Dominican Republic
  • Graduated from Punahou School in 2008. Won three consecutive state titles with the school before losing in the finals to Iolani in 2008
  • Two-time, all-state tennis player at Punahau and won the 2007 state doubles title
  • Member of 17s runner-up Outrigger Canoe Volleyball Club in 2006 and named to all-tournament team

Personal: Parents are Dave and Mary Shoji. Dave has been women’s volleyball coach at the University of Hawaii for more than 40 years and is the winningest coach in NCAA DI women’s volleyball history. Mary played basketball at the University of Hawaii… Older brother Kawika also played volleyball for Stanford and also plays on the U.S. Men’s National Team. The brothers also have an older sister named Cobey… Began playing volleyball in 1998 with Outrigger Canoe Club… Favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird… Favorite food is sushi… Favorite athletes are Marat Safin and Serena Williams…. Majored in human biology at Stanford… Has his own coaching and consulting business, which he runs by video chat even when he is out of the countryMore

Related Links

Shoji ‘brothers’ bonded by bronze – Honolulu Star Advertiser

Having 2 sons in Olympics a huge surprise to Shoji – Honolulu Star Advertiser

The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team Has a Coach for the Mind – Vice

The young U.S. men’s volleyball team gets served – Associated Press via Star Advertiser

Hawaii volleyball trio gear up for Rio Olympics opening ceremony – Hawaii NewsNow

Asian-American Athletes to Watch at the Rio Olympics –

Erik Shoji: Synonym of Excellence –

Video: Who says liberos can’t spike? –

Video: Erik Shoji Kick Assist – Stanford

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