The brief Kentucky Wildcats career of Nate Sestina has come to an end.
On Monday, the NCAA ruled that winter-sport athletes will not be given an extra year of eligibility after their seasons were cut short. That means Sestina’s final game was a wild 71-70 win at Florida to end the regular season.
It was one of the brightest moments of Sestina’s one year in Lexington, as he was previously at Bucknell for four seasons before grad-transferring to UK
After the ruling came down, head coach John Calipari released a statement on the news, expressing sadness he wouldn’t get to coach Sestina again.
“I’m so disappointed that I’m not going to have another year to coach Nate and have him in our program,” Calipari stated. “I know he’s disappointed and wanted to come back. He knew the chances weren’t great but that doesn’t make this hurt any less for him. Having said that, I’m proud of how he’s handled the whole thing. He was hopeful but has had a great attitude on what that next step will be for him.
“Nate had an unbelievable season and helped us achieve the level of success that we did. He improved in so many areas and showed great veteran leadership through actions and performance. Our guys absolutely loved him.
“I’m going to miss seeing him in the gym every day but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s helped himself and will have opportunities professionally if that’s what he chooses.”
All love coach, forever a wildcat https://t.co/ZPCRmz4Mpw— Nate Sestina (@NateSestina23) March 31, 2020
Before the ruling came that Sestina’s career was over, he appeared on the Behind Kentucky Basketball podcast. There, he discussed what it was like being a Wildcat, the potential end of his career, and how he wants to be remembered.
Be sure to give it a listen!
"I want to be remembered as a good person." - @NateSestina23 on how he hopes #BBN remembers him— UK Sports Network (@UKSportsNetwork) March 27, 2020
Full chat w/ @UKCoachJustus & @tjbeisner on "Behind Kentucky Basketball"...
Spotify: https://t.co/QMwE88ppNM pic.twitter.com/0ib1WHhrvA