Hockey is a family affair for the Obobaifo brothers.
And this week, the Obobaifo family is focused on Prince Edward Island, as Aaron suits up for Team Alberta U16 competing at the Canada Winter Games.
Their father, Charles, introduced hockey to the boys at an early age. For Aaron, he remembers he wasn’t sure he was interested in playing.
“My Dad took me to the rink and I didn’t like (hockey) at first,” Aaron recalled. “After my brother started playing, I fell in love with the game.”
From that moment, the sibling support and rivalry began. When the brothers weren’t at the rink, they could be found playing roller hockey in their backyard.
“It was a lot of fun growing up playing together,” said Aaron. “There’s a lot of competition between us, but we’ve supported each other since day one.”
Four years Aaron’s senior, his brother Charles played Junior A in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League before moving on to college. Younger brother, Kyle, is making a name for himself in the Alberta Elite Hockey League with the Calgary Flames U15 AAA.
Aaron currently plays at Shattuck St. Mary’s, a school famed for producing elite hockey players. He leads the Under 15 team in points with 55 (34 goals, 21 assists) in 43 games. Last May, he was selected 19th overall by the Vancouver Giants in the 2022 WHL Entry Draft.
Aaron and his brothers credit the success they have found in the game to their parents.
“My parents are really supportive, all the credit goes out to them,” said Aaron. “My parents moved from Nigeria to Alberta. The money they have spent, hard work, travelling, flights … all of it makes me want to push harder for them.”
The Team Alberta program has influenced the hockey journey of each brother. In 2015 the Obobaifo name first appeared on the provincial stage as older brother Charles participated in the Prospects Cup for Team Calgary Red. In 2017, he returned to the Alberta Cup with Team Calgary North. Continuing the Obobaifo legacy, Kyle took the ice with Calgary White at the Prospects Cup in 2022
Like many athletes, Aaron’s pathway with Team Alberta was derailed when COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 Prospects Cup. Then he was unable to make the Alberta Cup due to commitments with his club team. So when it came to preparing for the Canada Winter Games, he leaned on his brother for advice.
“Charles told me about the process. What to expect at the camps and what it looks like, he’s been really supportive,” said Aaron. “Now that I’m here, Kyle’s been asking me all the questions. He’s going to love it when it’s his turn.”
Despite the Canada Winter Games being his first opportunity with Team Alberta, Aaron has adapted to short-term competition, collecting a goal and an assist in three games played through the round robin.
“The coaches, the staff, the players, everyone has just been really supportive and I’m just excited to be part of it,” said Aaron. “I love Alberta and I love my city of Calgary, I’m proud to represent them and my family at the Canada Winter Games."
Team Alberta will meet Quebec in the Quarter Finals at 4:30 P.M. MT on Thursday, February 23. Games are available to livestream on canadagames.ca.