Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Villa is the latest Warrior to enter the transfer portal

For the third time this week, a current member of the University of Hawai’i basketball team put his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

Jessiya Villa, who sat out this past season as a redshirt freshman, is now listed in the transfer portal, according to verbalcommits.com.

Villa, a 5-foot-11 point guard, still has four years of NCAA eligibility remaining. He enrolled at UH for the 2019-20 school year after serving a two-year church mission in Ghana. Prior to that, he was the Hawai’i state player of the year as a senior at Kahuku High in 2017.

Villa is the third Hawai’i player – and second point guard – to  express interest in transferring by entering his name into the portal. Earlier this week, junior point guard Drew Buggs and sophomore center Dawson Carper were listed in the transfer portal.

Players who enter the NCAA transfer portal are not guaranteed to sign with another program, and have the option of staying at their current school after exploring the process.

Villa’s uncles are former UH player Jarinn Akana and former UH assistant coach Brandyn Akana.


  1. This coaching staff has kept a revolving door of players leaving the program for some time now. It sucks that they can’t get guys to stay put. It’s unfortunate to lose Buggs, Carper, and now Villa. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about more leaving soon. I wish things could have worked out with Villa staying he has the abilities to have been a productive pg for UH. This staff doesn’t know what the hell they want.

  2. Mistakes made in recruiting efforts now being made to recruit more athleticism. Sorry to see Buggs leave but recruiting and promising a scholie to a guy going on a two year mission is crazy. The athlete is totally out of competition and training for two two long years ! In basketball you have to constantly work on your skill constantly. Otherwise you lose it. Hiram Thompson was never the same after he returned. We need recruits that can commit to the program right out of JC or High school Villa is a better physical specimen than Thompson but is height challenged for our conference dominated by athletic guards 6 ft 3 and more Which him the best. Gerlufsen is getting us a step up in athletic recruits we need to compete for a title. Kudos for the staff for recognizing our needs.

  3. @jjay

    The “mistakes” this staff is apparently fixing is their own. How do you recruit a kid to your program only to tell him before he even steps into an official game for you that he is “not a good fit for your program” – the one you recruited him to.? BYU sure doesn’t seem to have a problem with mission hoopers coming back to play for them. Most of their schollie players went on missions. If giving mission players offers was a problem, shouldn’t they be worse off than UH?

    And as far as Villa’s height goes, we are only one season removed where a 5’9″ point guard led our team in scoring. How many players in the BigWest alone have lit UH up who were below 6’0″? Many, my friend. Gerlufsen hasn’t proved his recruits can get UH beyond the middle of the pack either, so I wouldn’t be so quick to put the “kudos” on this staff for fixing “needs” that they failed to address in the first place.

  4. Sucks that guys are leaving but besides Buggs I think we’ll upgrade the talent. One of the 7′ had to go bc there is not enough playing time for all of them and they are similar players. I’ll hold off on judgement until I see who is brought in to replace these guys.

  5. BEST of the Best of Wishes Jessiya –
    Thanks for the Mission AND Taking the Shot @ UH…
    Light ‘Em Up @ The Next Stop !


    Agree — Need to Look At The Total Picture…AND the Long Run…Program Versus Seasons…

    Coaches Track Progress AND RATE of Progress…IF a Player doesn’t Project onto The Court on in Potential Impact, he Deserves / Needs to know and Find a Program / Level that he CAN Make an Impact…. it’s more fun…Not Every Player can or Wants to be on the Cheerleading Sidelines Mop-Up Crew

  6. Jacobsen was the coach who actually recruited him out of Kahuku so once he bounced for Cal Baptist, the writing was on the wall for him. Hard to prove yourself and your scholarship to a staff that didn’t personally recruit you and were always going to recruit over you anyway.

  7. Best of luck to those transferring, hopefully they find what they are looking for. Sad to see Buggs go, but can’t blame him for his decision. It will be interesting to see where he ends up. If it ends up being another Big West school, that could be very telling of the current coaching staff.

  8. @bows808

    It’s telling of the coaching staff for the very fact that he wants to go elsewhere to begin with. Buggs can do no wrong with this staff, he has the green light, and the keys to the offense. Still, wants out. Very, very telling of some underlying issues between the staff and the players.

  9. The underlying issues with Buggs was not playing time. He has siblings in SoCal that he would to be closer to at this time as his mom passed away recently. He’s also dealing with recurrent knee issues and has to undergo surgery for it and the outcome after surgery is uncertain if he can obtain complete recovery to continue playing at the highest level. Buggs and Villas situation are two different and you can’t put them in the same pot. Recruiting is not an exact science and prior assistants and the head coach made some errors. I really thought Villa could beat out Ng for playing time but it didn’t happen
    The team is getting players with more athletic skills with Gerlufsen as lead recruiter. Keep in mind with the portal open up a Lot of players wanting more playing time who think they deserve it will continue to enter the portal and when the NCAA changes the rule shortly allowing them to play right away virtually All D1 programs in basketball and football will see a lot of transfers coming and going every year. It’s the new change that’s happening and everyone should get used to it.

  10. @jjay

    “I really thought Villa could beat out Ng for playing time but it didn’t happen”.
    Villa got to campus from his mission 3 months after Ng had already been practicing during the summer with the team. That’s a big advantage to have over another guard. Also, pretty much after the Portland State game, Ng was really relegated to the deep bench.

    “This team is getting players with more athletic skills”.
    Unless you go to the practices, how do you know what Villa’s athletic skillsets looked like? He seemed pretty athletic to me I have season tickets and watched warmups and he was throwing down dunks. Kinda unfair to say we’re upgrading athleticism when we don’t know who will fill in the vacant 3 scholarships yet.

  11. Boi
    You kind of agreeing to the thought that you also believed that Villaa more athletic player than Ng by your comments by mentioning his dunking in pregame drills which doesn’t equate to how you perform in a game situation. I did see Villa play pre season scrimmages which he handled ok but was still rusty. Coaches are with the players everyday in practice so they have the knowledge if the player is progressing or not. Videos of game action of the new recruits already signed and those that are rumored to be signed are available if you go to Warrior Sports Network , accurate info on the latest in basketball and football recruiting with video links. Check out the website. Aloha

  12. @jjay, well said

  13. vjjay

    Obviously he was rusty by the green-white scrimmage, he was the last player to join the team in August coming off his mission when everyone else had been there since the beginning of summer. Never saw a coach pull the plug on a player after his redshirt freshman year especially when, at the time, that guy was the only signed point guard officially on the roster. This staff seems like they wanted his scholarship from before he even got back to campus. Writing was on the wall.

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