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Mandi Kawaha and Darren Williams headshots

Former University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo basketball point guards Mandi Kawaha and Darren Williams are headed across the pond to begin their professional basketball careers internationally in Europe.

Kawaha will be joining the Cardiff Met Archers Basketball Club in Wales, U.K., while Williams is set to join the HydroTruck Radom basketball club in Poland.

Both student-athletes recently wrapped up their Vulcans careers and graduated this past spring.

“A lot of people might have their ideas of what it takes to reach that pro level and just for myself to show that you can make it from UH Hilo, I think it’s really important and it’s an honor,” Williams said. “If you got a school that loves you and allows you to be you, that’s probably going to position you the best as far as showcasing yourself for the next level. I’m just glad that me, Mandi and Casey (Yamauchi) are all able to shed light on this.”

Kawaha will also be coaching and continuing her education by working toward a master’s in sport coaching at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

“Basically for the love of the game. It just felt like college and life went by so fast and I wanted to keep playing, even if I have to go halfway across the world,” Kawaha said. “I mean, I’m small, so just trying to show the younger generation that you can do it as long as you put your mind and work into it.”

The Cardiff Met Archers compete in the Women’s British Basketball League, the top-level women’s basketball league in Great Britain, with the season running from October through April.

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