Two pro titles for Willoughby
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stephen Tsai
There's a reason former University of Hawai'i All-America volleyball player Kim Willoughby appears to be doubly busy these days.
Willoughby is playing both volleyball and basketball professionally in Puerto Rico.
"I'm having a great time," said Willoughby, who is in town to serve as a guest instructor at the Hawai'i Speed and Quickness clinics tomorrow and Sunday at the UH athletic complex.
Last year, she won national championships in both sports, believed to be a first for a female professional athlete.
"I'm kind of proud of that," she said.
After completing her UH career in December 2003, Willoughby spurned an offer to try out for the U.S. national team, and instead signed to play volleyball in Puerto Rico.
During the 2005 volleyball season, which runs from January through April, Willoughby trained with male basketball players. The owners of the basketball and volleyball teams are close friends, and Willoughby was asked to play basketball.
For the first half of the basketball season, she focused mainly on her defense and rebounding.
"The second half I played offense," said Willoughby, who averaged 13 points and nine rebounds per game.
She described the basketball competition as being "pretty good," with "decent local players" and the "main players" coming from the United States.
This past volleyball season, she averaged 5.5 kills per game, despite missing the first half while recovering from knee surgery.
She said her goal is to compete in the 2008 Olympics, and is willing to put both professional careers on hold "if that's what it's going to take. I'm willing to take a huge pay cut to prepare for 2008."
For now, she is focused on teaching at the speed/quickness clinics. "I love working with kids," she said. "This is something I wish I had when I was young. I have the athletic ability to do a lot of things, but I can't imagine how much better I could have been if I had gone to a camp like this. I could have been faster and stronger."
Sessions are from 8:30 to 10 a.m. (ages 7-12) and 10:30 a.m. to noon for ages 13 and older. Each session is $10, and includes coupons for Jamba Juice, Papa John's Pizza and Subway.
For details, call 739-5444 or log on to: www.hawaiispeedandquickness.com.
Reach Stephen Tsai at email@example.com.