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2022 AVC Cup for Women

Hawi Okumu Oba grateful to dad Godfrey for continuous guidance

Japan has shown its might in its first two games in the 2022 PNVF AVC Cup for Women, sweeping both Thailand and Chinese Taipei.

One player of the Japanese delegation stands out with a familiar sound here in the Philippines – Hawi Okumu Oba.

Yes, she’s the daughter of Godfrey Okumu, who’s been in the Philippines since 2017 coaching University of the Philippines women’s volleyball team before parting ways just last month.

And Godfrey has been intently watching Hawi play here in the AVC, turning on his dad mode.

“Actually the first time she played [in the Japan national team] was 2019, I’m very happy. I feel honored seeing her play in the national team,” said Godfrey.

“It’s something that we hold dear in our hearts as parents.”

But the bench tactician just can’t shrug off his coaching instincts, sharing some things he notices on Hawi’s play.

After all, Godfrey coached his daughter for three years back in high school.

“I coached her for three years in high school. I saw her grow as a player. It wasn’t easy being a teacher and a dad at the same time,” said the father.

Yes, it wasn’t easy, but Hawi appreciated what her dad/coach taught her during those three years.

Hawi is now a top player for Japan V.League Division 1 club team Hitachi Rivale, averaging 17.88 points the last season.

2022-AVC-Cup-for-Women-Japan-def-Chinese-Taipei-Godfrey-Okumu Hawi Okumu Oba grateful to dad Godfrey for continuous guidance 2022 AVC Cup for Women News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“He was not like a dad. Like when he’s coaching, he’s not my dad. But when we go home, he’s my dad,” Hawi told Tiebreaker Times after Japan’s sweep of Chinese Taipei on Monday.

“He has that switch to change when doing his job so I think that’s a good thing. He really made me who I am now. I am thankful for that.”

Godfrey, watching as a proud dad, just can’t hide his happiness seeing in front of his eyes Hawi donning the Japan national team colors, the seventh-best team in the world.

#ReadMore  Sarina Koga hopes to get warm Pinoy reception come VNL Manila

But of course, Godfrey doesn’t want his daughter to stop growing.

“It’s not easy to play for Japan national team, it’s so competitive so that tells how much effort, how hard she works to be in that position,” said the former UP coach.

“But she has to work hard and improve some more. Like any other player in sports, you don’t [stop] yourself at a certain level, you continue to improve yourself.”

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Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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