The following appeared on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s breaking news:
Jessiya Villa, a freshman point guard for the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team, confirmed he has entered the transfer portal.
Villa redshirted this season after returning from a two-year church mission in Ghana.
“I entered this morning,” Villa said. “I’m officially a transfer. … In this business, in this realm, you just gotta keep yourself happy, and do what’s best, not only for yourself, more so, for everyone. I respect Eran Ganot. I respect the staff. I respect the program, and love the program so much. Nothing will change that. I just understood that I didn’t fit in the plans that him and his staff had. And so, with that being said, definitely at this point, because I returned from a mission and had little less than a year to recoup, I feel this decision will allow me to showcase what I have wherever I end up. Just to play. That’s all I want to do right now. Just to play.”
Villa was the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s 2017 Player of the Year after leading Kahuku High to the state championship. Villa averaged 17.1 points, 6.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds during the 2016-2017 season.
Villa was born in Laie, but lived for five years in the Philippines, where his father played professional basketball. Villa then lived in West Virginia through his junior year of high school before transferring to Kahuku High for his senior year.
Villa is the third Rainbow Warrior to enter the transfer portal this week, following point guard Drew Buggs and center Dawson Carper. While Buggs and Carper are expected to move on to other Division I programs, Villa is likely to transfer to one of the three Division II teams in the state.
Also, two Rainbow Wahine basketball players are reportedly transferring. They are true freshman guard Makayla Edwards and redshirt freshman Lamarria Johnson. Edwards played sparingly as a utility player in 2019-20 while Johnson was hampered by ongoing injury trouble.
University of Hawaii:
Makayla Edwards Salesian College Prep HS CA will have 3 years remaining
Lamarria Johnson Bogan HS IL will have 3 years remaining
— NCAA WBB Transfer List (@NCAAWBBT) March 28, 2020
Thank you hawaii 🙏🏾💯 pic.twitter.com/aylUARpVnD
— MaKayla Edwards 😇 (@Makaayla___) March 29, 2020