Jessiya Villa is taking his basketball talents less than a mile away.
Villa, who redshirted as a UH freshman this past season, is transferring to Chaminade. He entered the NCAA’s transfer portal two weeks ago.
“Coach (Eric) Bovaird and I have had a relationship even prior to my graduation at Kahuku,” Villa said.
Villa’s grandfather, Bill Villa, is retiring in June as Chaminade’s athletic director.
Villa was born in Hawaii but grew up mostly on the mainland. He enrolled at Kahuku High as a senior, and was named the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s 2017 Player of the Year. Villa accepted a scholarship offer from UH before going on a two-year church mission to Ghana. He returned this past summer.
Villa redshirted this past season. When it appeared he would have a limited role this coming season, Villa entered the transfer portal.
His reasoning for joining a Division II program was twofold: He would not have to redshirt again and he could stay in Hawaii. He also said he was impressed with Bovaird’s history of helping Chaminade graduates play professionally.
“I know Chaminade is known for improving their players and helping their players follow their dreams and aspirations of playing professional ball,” Villa said. “That’s been a dream of mine since I was little.”
Villa added: “My family and I are happy with this decision. We know it’ll be the best for me.”