The talented setter passed away at the age of 31
The FIVB is deeply saddened by the loss of Naonobu Fujii, a Japanese Olympian and national team player who will be forever remembered for his incredible volleyball talent and achievements.
Naonobu was born in 1992 in Miyagi and played for the volleyball team of Furukawa Industrial High School before going on to compete for the team of Juntendo University in Chiba, winning the All Japan Intercollegiate Championship in 2011.
The talented playmaker had been a member of Toray Arrows Mishima since the start of his professional career in 2013, and with that team he won the Japanese Emperor's Cup in 2014 and 2017, and the Japanese V-League title in 2017, which came along with the Best Setter award.
Naonobu had been a member of the Japanese national team since 2017 and picked up another Best Setter honour at the 2017 Asian Championship, where the squad triumphed as continental champions. In 2021, he was a member of the team that finished seventh at the Olympic Games on home soil in Tokyo.
He was a true pioneer for his Japanese volleyball as he introduced the playmaking style of attacking more with the middle blockers.
The FIVB and the global Volleyball Family extend their deepest condolences to the Japanese volleyball community and Naonobu Fujii’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.