Former Kentucky Wildcats forward Nate Sestina is now a professional champion.
Sestina, who played in Lexington for one season (2019-20), won a title with Hapoel Holon Basketball Club in Israel on Thursday, which came just over a month since signing with the team as a free agent.
Hapoel Holon BC went 11-0 in the Balkan International Basketball League, which consists of professional teams from the Balkans (Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and Israel), and finished off the run with a 91-75 victory over Akademik Plovdiv in Holon, Israel.
Sestina played a key part in the victory with 14 points and five rebounds. He was 3/4 from the floor, 2/4 from deep and 2/2 at the free-throw line in 23 minutes. He’s played nine total games with the club and five in the Balkan League, where he averaged 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
The 6-9 Sestina will remain with Hapoel Holon as the team continues its season in the Israeli Basketball Premier League, the top-level division of Israeli pro club basketball.
Before heading overseas, Sestina played 15 games with the Long Island Nets, the G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets. Sestina averaged 7.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game with Long Island.
Sestina spent a season at Kentucky as a graduate transfer after four years at Bucknell. Though the was cut short due to COVID-19, Sestina was able to help the Cats go 25-6 and win the SEC regular-season title, their first since 2017. He helped Kentucky clinch the championship with 11 points on 4/6 shooting in the home win vs. No. 15 Auburn
Hailing from Emporium (PA), Sestina averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in his one year in Lexington. He shot 46.3% from the floor and 40.7% from 3-point range, the second-best mark on the team.
Sestina was a 2019-20 Southeastern Conference First-Year Academic Honor Roll member and participated on UK’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Combined with a great career at Bucknell, where he was named Second Team All-Patriot League in his final season in 2018-19, Sestina finished his college career with 1,037 points, 621 rebounds and 86 blocks.
Congratulations to Sestina on the first of what hopes to be many trophies he earns in his professional career!