Two more Kentucky Wildcats are getting their shot at the NBA.
According to EJ Montgomery’s Instagram, he has signed a contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. pic.twitter.com/UHQyRJGmpb— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) November 19, 2020
In addition, Nate Sestina signed an exhibit-10 contract with the Brooklyn Nets, according to Jon Chepkevich. Exhibit-10 contracts are one-year deals for the NBA league minimum salary. They also include come an optional bonus of up to $50,000 if the player doesn’t make it in training camp but signs with the organization’s G-League affiliate.
The Brooklyn Nets have inked @KentuckyMBB stretch forward Nate Sestina to an Exhibit-10 contract.— Jon Chepkevich (@JonChep) November 19, 2020
Montgomery, a 6-10 forward out of Florida, appeared in 28 games for the Wildcats during his sophomore season with 25 starts. He averaged 6.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, both of which were career highs.
”At 6-10 with perimeter skills, athleticism and an ability to block shots, someone is going to get a big-time prospect with EJ,” UK head coach John Calipari said when Montgomery declared for the draft. “His skill set is where the game is going. EJ has always had those tools, but what I’m so proud of is how he progressed, not only through his two seasons here but especially the last month of the season.
“I was excited for EJ going into the postseason because I really thought it was going to be a great opportunity to show all the work he’s put in. He was really playing his best basketball. I’m happy for EJ and his family and will continue to be here to help throughout this process.”
Montgomery registered a career-high 25 points in a win against Fairleigh Dickinson where he was 12/16 from the floor. He also played a major role in the win over Mississippi State with 12 points and eight rebounds.
In the win at Texas A&M, Montgomery put together one of his best performances of his career with eight points, 10 boards, a career-high three assists, two steals and a block. He led the Wildcats in blocks eight times with four games with 3+ rejections. He finished the season shooting 51.8% from the field and hauled in 151 rebounds, both of which ranked second on the squad. His 31 blocks also was the second highest on the team.
As for Sestina, this is actually the second pro contract he’s signed this year. He previously signed a professional basketball contract with Russian Basketball Club Nizhny Novgorod in the VTB United League and the Basketball Champions League.
The 6-9 senior forward out of Pennsylvania was a key player off the bench for the 2019-20 SEC regular-season champion Wildcats. He made seven starts in 28 appearances and missed three games in late November and early December with a fractured left wrist.
For the season, Sestina averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in his lone season at Kentucky with four double-figure scoring games. He made 40.7% from 3-point range, the second-best mark on the team.
Sestina, who previously played at Bucknell in the Patriot League for four years before coming to Kentucky, helped the Wildcats clinch the SEC championship with 11 points on 4/6 shooting in the home victory vs. No. 15 Auburn. His best scoring performance of the season was a 17-point outing with a season-best five 3-pointers in the game vs. No. 4 Ohio State in Las Vegas.
Sestina surpassed 1,000 career points with the 11 points at LSU and finished his college career with 1,037 points, 621 rebounds and 86 blocks.
Sestina starred in his last of four seasons at Bucknell in 2018-19. Averaging 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, Sestina was tabbed to the All-Patriot League Second Team and the Patriot League All-Tournament Team. He shot 53.6% from the field, 38.0% from 3-point range and 80.8% from the charity stripe. He scored in double figures in 27 of 31 contests.
In addition to his contributions on the court, Sestina was a member of Kentucky’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and made the 2019-20 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
Good luck to these former Wildcats are they now look to begin their NBA careers.