Off the Court: With Erik Shoji

By Tyson Rodgers | Nov. 10, 2014, 11:59 a.m. (ET)

This week we had a chance to catch up with Men's National Team libero Erik Shoji (Honolulu, Hawaii).

The former Stanford standout is a new edition to the indoor squad, but he has made his mark felt in the short time with the team. Shoji has helped the men claim two gold medals at the libero spot, first at the NORCECA Continental Championship in 2013, and most recently at the 2014 FIVB World League. 

First thing I look forward to when coming home...
Seeing my family. Living abroad away from family and loved ones is the hardest part of the job. Having time with my family rejuvenates me after a long season overseas.

Besides volleyball, most of my time is spent…
Watching television. I have a lot of downtime living overseas, so watching American television shows and American sports fills a lot of that downtime.

One surprising thing about me is...
I've played in German-speaking countries for three years now and I still don't know how to speak the language very well. I've tried to learn a little but the grammar is very difficult!

What skill I want to get better at (Non-volleyball)...
One thing I want to get better at is speaking German, so I can converse more with my teammates and people around the city.

Before volleyball I was into...
Baseball. My dad secretly wanted me to be a second baseman that batted left handed. I was scared of the ball and I'm right handed. Somehow I played til I was 12.

Three things I would take with me on a deserted island...
Sushi because it's my favorite food, my phone because I'm addicted, and my sunglasses to shade my eyes!

People tell me I am good at...
Table tennis, because I swing and hit the ball hard like it's tennis and I grunt like a tennis player.

Something I am horrible at...
Anything having to do with art. I have horrible handwriting and if I draw something it looks like a first grader drew it.

Something everyone else likes that I don’t understand...
Kale. People love it because it's healthy but the bad taste outweighs the nutritional value for me.

What character was I most for Halloween...
 An Iolani nerd. In Hawaii, Iolani School is known as a very academic school. As a Punahou student (rival school) we always made fun of Iolani as the nerd school. Because my brother (Kawika Shoji) went to Iolani, I had access to a lot of Iolani clothes so I would dress up as an Iolani School nerd.