The championship court at the tournament was named for long-time pickleball player and coach Lonnie Kojima, whose daughter and son were in attendance.

By KATY YONEMURA and ROGER KINOSHITA

On July 10, the Nikkei Games’ third annual Pickleball Tournament was held after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.

The tournament was once again held at the Tustin Pickleball Courts, which have 10 dedicated courts. The event began with an early 6:30 a.m. player check-in.  

Games started after a tribute and championship court-naming ceremony for Lonnie Kojima, a pickleball player and coach who had conducted free clinics for new players at previous Nikkei Games. His daughter, Nichole, and his son, Beau Kojima, a pro-level pickleball player, were in attendance.

Co-chaired by Roger Kinoshita and Katy Yonemura, the events for the tournament were formed with the Nikkei Games motto of “Games for the Generations” in mind, with the youngest player participating at age 12 and the oldest at age 81! Many parents partnered with their children and others partnered with aunts, uncles and cousins. Over 75 spectators lined the court to cheer on their friends and family.

Medals were awarded to the top three teams, but all players went home as winners because they each received a prize that included pickleball paddles, gift cards, Japanese snacks, musubi makers and other fun items. Over $1,000 of merchandise was generously donated by players, local Japanese American businesses and sport companies.

Below are the results:

Women’s 12+ 3.0 Winners

1st:  Sara Hatanaka & Kay Yamamoto

2nd:  Frances Yamasaki & Michelle Yamasaki

3rd:  Christine Do & Alice Wang

Women’s 12+ 3.5 Winners

1st:  Kathleen Louie & Courtney Horvath

2nd:  Courteney Nojiri & Kimberly Parham

3rd:  Kelli Kato & HQ Nguyen

Women’s 60+ 4.5 Winners

1st:  Marcia Neishi & Nancy Stevens

2nd:  Joyce Eng & Vicki Cline

3rd:  Katy Yonemura & Laurel Dennis

Men’s 60+ 3.0 Winners

1st:  Gary Itano & Donny Yep

2nd:  Walt Ando U& Collin Yamauchi

3rd:  Kenny Fukumoto & Katsuo Gibo

Men’s 12+ 4.0 Winners

1st:  Wayley Louie & Eric Lim

2nd:  Shota Yamamoto & Michael McClean

3rd:  Brian Lee & Nicholas Wong

Mixed 12+ 3.0 Winners

1st:  Caroline Wong & Eric Lim

2nd:  Julie Yu & Howard Yu

3rd:  Stephanie Kato & Walt Ando

Mixed 12+ 3.5 Winners

1st:  Debbie Thai & Bob Ree

2nd:  Kathleen Louie & Wayley Louie

3rd:  Courteney Nojiri & Mathew Wong

Mixed 12+ 4.0 Winners

1st:  Susan Garibay & Shah Nasrullah

2nd:  Ashley Smith & Brian Lee

3rd:  Mari Nozaki & Shota Yamamoto

Mixed 60+ 3.0 Winners

1st:  Lichun Chou & Gary Itano

2nd:  Arlene Ishino & Glenn Ishino

3rd:  Mabel Yawata & DeWayne Ichiriu

Mixed 60+ 3.5 Winners

1st:  Katy Yamamoto & Kevin Kunisaki

2nd:  Sara Hatanaka & Bob Omatsu

3rd:  Dianne Kobayashi & Theodore Teacher

Mixed 60+ 4.5 Winners

1st:  Nancy Stevens & Robert Martinez

2nd:  Lisa Sigaty & Jeff Louie

3rd:  Marcia Neishi & Jerry Koyama

Photos by Heston Quan

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  1. Great photos. Pickleball is keeping my 81 year old husband healthy! Thank you Katy and Roger for Co-chairing and making this such a great generational tournament.