Estee Okumura ’99 Shizuru was a master at it, whether it was her clutch infield bullets to first base or her pin-point passes halfway down the basketball court. The 5-foot-6 Okumura wasn’t just good at it, she was great, as evidenced by her being named first-team all-state in both softball and basketball in 1999, her senior year at Punahou.
Okumura basically hit for the cycle when picking up the state’s major awards in softball. She earned Position Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year and Gatorade State Player of the Year in addition to all-state. On the court, she was considered the best one-on-one defensive player in the state, while also finishing second in scoring, steals and 3-pointers. The team captain helped the buff ’n blue to a second-place finish in the state tournament, a 35 – 30 loss to Kamehameha.
Her junior year, her second on the varsity, the point guard had the game-winning assist in the state tournament semifinal. Okumura rifled an 80-foot inbounds pass to Onaona Miller ’98 with seven seconds left in a tied game against Waiakea with Miller hitting the game-winning shot. The buff ’n blue then defeated Kala¯heo the next night 65 – 51 for coach Shelley Fey’s third state title in five years.
Okumura went on to a stellar softball career at the University of the Pacific (UOP), including a freshman season where the Tigers (50 – 13) came within a game of the College World Series. That 2001 team was later inducted into the UOP Sports Hall of Fame. Okumura switched from infield to centerfield as the Tigers took advantage of her “overall athleticism and quickness,” according to one reporter. She was named to the NFCA All-West Region team as a freshman and later earned all Big West and all-Big West academic honors.
Okumura is a health and lifestyle coach at “Simply Healthy with Estee,” professionally using her married name of Estee Shizuru. After 10 years as a Honolulu firefighter (and the first woman in HFD history to make it on the Search and Rescue Unit), she has put that on pause to be at home with her two young children and focus on her passion as a health coach.
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