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Hawaii Pacific coach proposes at JTT Nationals

October 21, 2012 09:14 AM
Heather Thurber and Albert Murata
Albert Murata proposes to Heather Thurber
by Sarah Houseknecht, Special to USTA.com

Cayce, S.C -- Each day at JTT Nationals, a player, parent or special guest has proudly led the National Anthem before the start of competition. On Championship Sunday, the crowd of anxious tennis players was in for an extra special treat.
Heather Thurber, who traveled to Cayce, S.C. with the Intermediate Hawaii Pacific team, stepped up to sing the National Anthem. Her amazing vocal performance spurred a large applause from the crowd, but the show was not over.
Hawaii Pacific’s Waialae Iki 5 White Stars Coach Albert Murata then took the microphone and shared with the crowd that he and Thurber had been keeping a secret that he wanted to share with his team and JTT friends at Nationals.
"I know this is a bit backwards," Murata said, "but Heather and I got engaged and no one knew. We have set a date but I haven’t formally asked her to marry me yet.
"I’m nervous," he said, as he dropped to his knee. "Will you marry me?"
Thurber glowed as she shook her head yes and the crowed cheered. She said it was just as surprising and wonderful as if she hadn’t known a proposal was coming.
"We had set a wedding date two or three weeks ago, but I was starting to wonder when he was actually going to ask me," said Thurber. "We are getting married November 8th; the anniversary of our first date."
Murata explained that he had been waiting for this event, "I am passionate about tennis and she loves singing; I thought it would be perfect. Since we had already set a date, I wanted to think of a way to surprise her and I knew she wouldn’t expect this."


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