Last year's Mountain West Conference Tournament MVP Lydia
Ojuka has some new competition in the family. This summer her older
brother Ken joined the men's soccer team adding another Ojuka to the
BYU soccer program.
Although the Ojuka's are known for playing soccer at BYU,
soccer isn't what bonds them. "As far as soccer goes, we never really
played together," said Lydia, a junior midfielder.
She said they are close friends without needing soccer to
maintain their close friendship.
Ken started playing soccer at age six while his little sister
Lydia didn't start until her freshman year in high school.
According to their mother, Grace, once they started playing,
they were always in the paper in high school.
Lydia was named all-state her junior and senior year. She holds her high school
record with 102 goals. Last season, Lydia scored the goal against
Kansas in the NCAA tournament to advance the Cougars into the second
Lydia and Ken never played for the same team. In fact, they
didn't attend the same school. Ken attended a college prep school
while Lydia attended public school.
"It's a lot of fun to be able to play for the same program
now," Ken said. "We hang out a lot more than I thought we would --
almost every weekend."
Of her friendship with her brother Lydia said, "I think its
less having to do with soccer, but now if I see him on campus be
careful because we might talk for an hour and miss a class or
something. We're just a lot more buddy-buddy now. I would call him
my best guy friend."
Ken is the oldest of six children in the family. The family
is originally from Uganda, Africa. Their parents met the missionaries
and joined the church there.
The missionaries that taught them spoke highly of BYU and
their father decided to come to BYU to received his Ph.D. in Exercise
Physiology in 1994.
Although Ken and Lydia were born in Uganda, they were raised in Tucson,
Ariz. The family recently moved to Utah to bring them closer together. Grace,
their mother, found it difficult to support Lydia's collegiate soccer career.
"It has been hard for me to be so far away. I moved back and
wanted to be close to them. We are happy to be able to go to the
games and watch them represent BYU."
Now the family has the chance to support both Lydia and Ken
as they further their soccer careers. According to their mother, the
younger brothers want to be just like Ken and the little sisters want
to be like Lydia. They are their heroes.
Since returning from his mission in Philadelphia last
November, Kenny has had the chance to get himself ready for the
"I hope to see some playing time, which is hard to come by
for a freshman," Ken said.
Men's head coach Chris Watkins is also an assistant coach on
the women's team and, speaking on their style of play, said, "They have
a ton of potential. They both are very quick and strong players."
They support each other on their respective teams.
"He goes to my games and I go to his games," said Lydia.
"We always have at least one fan in the stands," Ken said.
"They are not just brother and sister, they are very close
friends. They always say good things to each other," said their mother Grace.
"They love each other to death but they are both rivals. They have always
been competitive. If Ken gets an award, then Lydia will try to get
the same award, and it goes the other way around."
According to their mother, Lydia and Kenny are always racing
each other. Lydia ran track and placed second in state in the 400 and
800 meters in high school. When Kenny first returned home from his
mission from Philadelphia, Lydia was able to beat the out-of-shape
Lydia has always looked to her mother as the most influential
person in her life.
In spite of the competitive spirit that thrives between the
Ojuka siblings, Lydia and Ken can always be seen together as best
friends off the field forever.