Kahuku’s Villa adds Gatorade honor

Kahuku guard Jessiya Villa kept the ball away from Mount Vernon (N.Y.) center Gregory Calixte at the ‘Iolani Prep Classic. Photo by Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku guard Jessiya Villa kept the ball away from Mount Vernon (N.Y.) center Gregory Calixte at the ‘Iolani Prep Classic. Photo by Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser.

Kahuku senior guard Jessiya Villa, who was named the Honolulu Star-Advertiser player of the year just over a week ago, was selected as the Gatorade Hawaii boys basketball player of the year on Monday.

Villa averaged 17.1 points, 6.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in leading Kahuku to its first-ever state title in boys basketball.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Jessiya will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program, according to the press release. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.

Recent Gatorade Hawaii boys basketball winners include Hugh Hogland (‘Iolani), Kupa’a Harrison (Kalaheo), Ikaika Phillip (‘Iolani), Josh Ko (Kalaheo), DeForest Buckner (Punahou) and Micah Christenson (Kamehameha).

Villa is the second Kahuku player to win the Gatorade honor, joining Junior Ale in 2006.

COMMENTS

  1. anywaaaays!! March 20, 2017 12:31 pm

    Well deserved!

    ..im waiting for that former punahou student educationfirst to chime in and say something negative in another article praising one of the top 3 point guards of all time on a Kahuku team that is top 3 all-time in Hawaii.

    All the proof is in the fab15 article. When was the last time a hawaii team had the top 3 of 4 players (all college ready) in the state along with the gatorade POY?
    http://www.hawaiiprepworld.com/boys-basketball/boys-hoops-fab-15-coaches-chime-in/


  2. Just Play March 20, 2017 1:01 pm

    Congrats to Jessiya, the Villa ‘ohana, and of course Kahuku and the Laie community. Well-deserved honor!


  3. Da.Keys.2.Ma.Beema March 20, 2017 2:22 pm

    We only saw one year of this guy but one year was all he needed to prove without a doubt he is one of the top guards to ever play prep ball in this state. He raised the bar for pgs from here on out.


  4. Black Raider March 20, 2017 3:16 pm

    College ready? Since they are all 3 seniors, what colleges are Villa and Fotu attending. Please back it up. Letters of intent were signed months ago. I have never heard of a D1 college after Villa or Fotu. What colleges are they? Villa is solid. But top 3 PG ever? Um, DLow? Ramsey. Keene. And top 3 all time team? Like others said. When u lose to a D2 team you are out of the discussion.


  5. AOK March 20, 2017 8:49 pm

    *Hauula


  6. anywaaaays!! March 20, 2017 9:13 pm

    BlackRaider you killin me with your fake 10 names…we all know you are educationfirst cause you say the same things.

    Dont argue with us internet trolls, take your argument to the head coaches in the state who all praise Kahukus big3
    here, read it and weap: http://www.hawaiiprepworld.com/boys-basketball/boys-hoops-fab-15-coaches-chime-in/


  7. Tafena_Costa March 20, 2017 9:25 pm

    @Black Raider (sure, buddy)
    This is an article, strictly praising a high school senior for his merit on the basketball court. Congratulate and move on, gotdamn. Or do you need arguments about 17-18 year old kids to get you through the night?


  8. thnk1st March 20, 2017 10:37 pm

    congrats to Villa! no doubt he is a player. to me villa has the “it” factor, something always seems to happen when he has the ball in his hands. What I like about him is his toughness and being a playmaker. He makes things happen and that a tribute to a good point guard. If anything, sometimes he seems to play out of control. A good college coach can work on that. would like to him be given a chance at the D1 level. If UH took Avea, why not take a chance on Villa. either way, great season to kahuku and vill, avea and foot


  9. Applestoapples March 20, 2017 10:40 pm

    Just because they aren’t signed doesn’t mean they aren’t college ready. Both have the capability to play at the next level and that is pretty obvious from watching them play. And also just because they don’t boast about college interest doesn’t mean they aren’t getting any.


  10. Sole March 21, 2017 7:32 am

    Signing period is in April. The one basketball player that signed in November signed in the early period. Also, you do not have to publish your offers. Most people do it because it looks good. If you know anything about this boy, he is not one to crave attention. His demeanor all year long exemplified that. For now, since we all don’t really know him, all we have to know is this:

    2017 Gatorade Player of the Year
    2017 Honolulu Advertiser Player of the Year
    2017 Scoringlive Player of the Year
    2017 OIA East Player of the Year
    2017 Number 1 in Fab 15 All State
    2017 First Team All State ALL Hawaii team
    2017 First Team OIA East
    2106/2017 Iolani Classic All Tournament Team (Second year two different teams)
    2016/2017 Iolani Classic Scoring Leader

    And was hurt all year long……..this is all on the internet too, same with the things you are digging up as well. And this is just one year. But just in case, here is his junior year
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP-vSZYEVNs

    and his sophomore year
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNTjRhws9ZY

    and his seventh or eighth grade year
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkPmbKPKXr4

    He will win your heart sooner or later…..I think he already has, that’s why you comment so much on his articles….you can’t stay away…..


  11. Sole March 21, 2017 7:46 am

    Oh, and on this losing to a D2 team issue……LOW, RAMSEY, OSTROWSKI, Alika Smith, Kalia McGee, and all the other names that you are bringing up couldn’t lose to a D2 team because THERE WAS NO D2 back then. Everyone played in the same division…..the only League with Division 2 teams were formed by the ILH schools that had Division 1 teams as well.

    If you can’t see that St. Francis should have damn well been in Division 1 this year, then you’re not qualified to critique this game. Again, lost without Fotu, Sauvao, Kaniho…..

    You have to be willing to be educated and open your mind.


  12. Public School March 21, 2017 9:41 am

    @Sole. Agree with you all the way. Villa is legit. Whether he goes on a church mission, plays overseas, or plays D1, D2, or D3 college ball. That’s up to him and his ‘ohana to decide what is best for him. He earned every single of the honors that he received. And he has earned the respect of many basketball fans.


  13. The Rim March 21, 2017 11:12 am

    The boy is legit and as smooth as the good ones are. Congrats Villa, us on the BI could see you’re a special talent and fun to watch. The thing is, he was never out of control and never played as if the team revolved around him. He had a calming effect when he had the ball and you knew if he drove to the basket, pulled up for a 12 footer, or launched a 3, it was a good decision. Over the years I’ve come to enjoy players like him who play ball and cut all the other taunts and BS out, he let his play speak volumes. Reflection on great upbringing.


  14. anywaaaays!! March 21, 2017 12:36 pm

    Where is edu1st?

    …..(crickets)…….


  15. Tafena_Costa March 21, 2017 4:17 pm

    @The Rim
    You spot on, braddah. This guy calmed his entire team down in pressure moments with his demeanor, found a way to make all that talent on Kahuku gel as one unit offensively, and was not a hot dog/showboat. This kid had tunnel vision all season long.


  16. Coach C March 21, 2017 4:43 pm

    Black Rubba, first of all Fotu is a junior. He will be next year’s Gatorade POY. His bro went to UH. He will receive a scholarship. Villa will get a call.


  17. Just Play March 21, 2017 6:08 pm

    @Coach C do you think Fotu will come back to Hawaii? Would be cool to see that kid in action as a senior.


  18. Tafena_Costa March 21, 2017 9:13 pm

    Look at you. Emotional.


  19. Black Raider March 22, 2017 1:59 pm

    look at u guys irraz and no lyfe. Who lives thru kids on a blog?

    pathetic > crickets


  20. Whhhy March 23, 2017 1:07 pm

    Two things to consider:

    1. How good would that team be without that key player? I.e. Bulls without Jordan? Lakers without

    2. What is the level of competition? To me the hardest thing to compare between high school competition back then and now is that back then there wasn’t as many opportunities for advanced basketball camps/ competitive outside leagues. Nowadays you can find both abundantly. PAL ball still available but so is Outside league where 8 year olds play at the same standards as competitive ball I’ve seen it as serious as shot clocks for 8 year olds here in Hawaii. This was not the case back in the day, that results in many kids back then never playing organized sports and only starting to learn in high school. So someone who did train hard like a Derek Low or otherwise would be good players playing against some not very seasoned competition. So it would be easier to run up the statlines back then compared to if they were playing now.

    So, Villa is good, good enough to be a playmaker for Kahuku where we smashed a team with him and ended up nearly losing to that same team later. Probably if the competition was any tougher the team would have lost. Then he is playing against better competitive players than that of the past. No way to truly compare.


  21. Tafena_Costa March 24, 2017 8:42 am

    @Whhhy

    This debate over ranking all-time teams/players is so subjective it’s nearly impossible to come to a decisive conclusion about it. The thing about Villa is that unlike the large majority of Hawai’i high school guards, Villa was an East Coast first-team all state selection. That would make Villa an all-state first-teamer in 2 different states which is not an easy feat at all.

    As far as the younger Fotu goes… UH can kiss that ship good-bye. He got bigger fish looking at him actually going to NZ to watch him. UH would be a bottom of the list-school for him by the time all the colleges have offered him. Especially after how UH handled the situation with the older Fotu, why in the heck would he go here?


  22. The Watcher March 27, 2017 7:49 am

    Kid is good. Is he D1 good, that remains to be seen. Kahuku is a solid team. One of the best ever? I don’t think so. The losses to St. Francis looms large to be considered one of the best ever. St Francis is okay, but remember they struggled to beat a D2 Kalani team which isn’t really a powerhouse in the finals. And they squeaked out a win against one of Iolani’s worst teams in the past 16 years with one really good big, and weak guard play. They barely beat Kailua in the OIA tourney. And please don’t bring up so and so was missing and blah blah blah.

    Injuries, academic ineligibility, trips, illnesses, etc., are all part of HS Sports. Numerous teams over the past 40-50 years have lost games since specific players were not playing. But, I don’t hear others making excuses. You dress and compete with who you had. When you make excuses, you insult the kids were suited up and competed to represent their school.

    That is called real School Pride, something many of you bloggers forget at times.

    But with all the Kahuku homers on here, they cannot see things objectively. But then again, if the Kahuku homers were not on this site, it probably wouldn’t exist.

    So thank you and Mahalo to all the Kahuku Homers out there! You are truly appreciated!


  23. Whhhy March 27, 2017 4:42 pm

    Your forgetting that the competition is only getting better. You can’t compare a terrible D2 team back then (if they had D2) back then to what they have not. Your speculating that this is some D2 team that couldn’t have beaten out one of your “top” teams back then. I can guarantee you this the only thing we can guarentee right now is that this kid is the real deal for high school ball. Whether he goes on to play D1 is yet to be seen but to assume that he must not be that good because he doesn’t have X offers to D1 schools doesn’t measure how good he’s done in high school. He is the best in the state and with him Kahuku is the best team in the state.


  24. Education First March 28, 2017 10:14 am

    anywaaaays!! March 20, 2017 at 12:31 pm
    Well deserved!

    ..im waiting for that former punahou student educationfirst to chime in and say something negative in another article praising one of the top 3 point guards of all time on a Kahuku team that is top 3 all-time in Hawaii.

    All the proof is in the fab15 article. When was the last time a hawaii team had the top 3 of 4 players (all college ready) in the state along with the gatorade POY?
    ——————–

    Sorry for being away for so long. But it was Spring Break and the family wanted to go to Abu Dhabi.

    I was hoping to see anywaays at the luxious resorts and places we stayed at. Then I remembers, boy is on welfare so what was I thinking?

    Like I said numerous times Villa is a really good player. I understand that anywaays cannot read so unless his mommy or a smarter family member reads it to him, he cannot find it in the numerous posts I have written before stating that I think Villa is the POY.

    As for college ready? You might feel they are college ready. But it seems many college coaches and scouts do not feel the same. But you could have been talking about community college, juco, D2 or D2, or NAIA. so if that is the case, they are all 3 definitely college ready.

    But if you are talking Division 1, I do not agree.

    And regarding the Fab 15, are those chosen by coaches or media? I do not put much validity into media.

    And like many others have said, a loss to St Francis ends the argument. DLow, never lost to a Hawaii team in like 3 years.

    Finally, how was your Spring Break? I am assuming you stayed on island?


  25. Tafena_Costa March 29, 2017 8:06 pm

    Watcher wrote:
    Kid is good. Is he D1 good, that remains to be seen. Kahuku is a solid team. One of the best ever? I don’t think so. The losses to St. Francis looms large to be considered one of the best ever. St Francis is okay, but remember they struggled to beat a D2 Kalani team which isn’t really a powerhouse in the finals. And they squeaked out a win against one of Iolani’s worst teams in the past 16 years with one really good big, and weak guard play. They barely beat Kailua in the OIA tourney. And please don’t bring up so and so was missing and blah blah blah.

    You are out of your numbskull mind if you think not having a full, complete roster had something to do with them losing their SECOND game together in PRESEASON. You act like Avea and Villa been playing together since intermediate. With a completed roster, Kahuku challenges, I can see beating 95% of the high school teams in Hawai’i history. It’s so crazy you guys totally downplay that Villa’s absence shouldn’t have mattered against a team they handled easily with him in the roster earlier in the season.

    Going by your assessment of St. Francis beating the Fotu/Sauvao/Kaniho-less Kahuku team, the ’82 Virginia team that lost to Chaminade must’ve been the most absolute worse Division 1 team to ever lace em up.


  26. Whhy May 19, 2017 9:32 pm

    Okay the D1 BBall Gods have spoken (those drinking the haterade). I heard Villa signed with University of Hawaii. @HPW Where’s the article on that?


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