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Nate Sestina signs with Kentucky; comments from John Calipari

“I’m excited to get to work with him because he’s where the game is going.”

NCAA Basketball: Bucknell at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have signed Bucknell Bison grad transfer Nate Sestina. The news came just an hour after the school signed five-star La Lumiere forward Keion Brooks, as the late signing period begins today.

“It’s been an amazing ride from Emporium (Pennsylvania) to Bucknell and everywhere in between, and it’s surreal to think my college basketball career isn’t over yet,” Sestina said in a press release. “I’m humbled to get started with Kentucky. I want to thank God, my family, my coaches, my teammates and John Calipari for this opportunity.”

Sestina averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Bison last season before earning his degree and deciding to finish his basketball career elsewhere. He also shot 38% from behind the three-point line, which makes him a unique big man that can step outside.

Sestina is following the same path that as Reid Travis followed when he came to Kentucky as a grad transfer from Stanford However, Sestina becoming a grad transfer was essentially a requirement, as Bucknell requires athletes to graduate within four years.

The 6-9, 240-pound forward Sestina took a medical redshirt early in his career, so this past season was his fourth year as a redshirt junior. Once he started looking around, Kentucky was who he quickly zeroed in on.

UK head coach John Calipari was happy to land a player like Sestina to help lead next season’s team.

”I think everyone knows my stance on graduate transfers. We are only going to take someone if it’s going to help both the kid and our program,” Calipari said. “I’m not going to take someone if they’re not going to have an impact. After seeing what Reid’s (Travis) move did for him this past season and how he helped our program, I told our staff if there are other kids in his situation that could benefit, let’s take a look at them.

”Nate falls into that scenario in that he’s achieved what he set out to do and now wants to take this thing to the next level. I’m excited to get to work with him because he’s where the game is going. He has the ability to play in the post but he can stretch you out, which gives us the ability to play a little different and open things up more. He’s a great kid from a great family who wanted this challenge.”

Welcome to Lexington!