It’s official. Graduate transfer Nate Sestina has committed to play basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats. The Bucknell Bison big man announced the news on Thursday:
It’s been an amazing ride from Emporium to Bucknell and everywhere in between, and it’s surreal to think my college basketball career isn’t over yet.— Nate Sestina (@NateSestina23) April 4, 2019
I’m humbled to get started with @KentuckyMBB! Need to thank God, my family, my coaches, teammates and @UKCoachCalipari #BBN pic.twitter.com/JS3ZKqIS4e
This is a huge get for Kentucky, who failed to land any of their top front court recruits in the 2019 class.
Sestina averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Bucknell Bisons 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 virtually the same size as Reid Travis when he came to Kentucky, and he would bring a lot of the same skills to the table. Two benefits of Sestina over Travis are that he is a better outside shooter and that he does not have two first names.
Kentucky is bringing in point guard Tyrese Maxey and wings Dontaie Allen, Keion Brooks, and Kahlil Whitney next season. However, their pursuit of a big man has come up ended handed.
Since things went so well with Reid Travis this season, it seems that John Calipari is becoming more comfortable dipping his toes into the graduate transfer pool than he once was. And Reid’s success at Kentucky should certainly lead to more interest from players like Sestina.
Sestina is eligible immediately, and he sures up a front court that should include junior Nick Richards and sophomore EJ Montgomery, assuming neither of them test the transfer waters. This is a huge commitment for Calipari as it bring stability underneath the basket, whereas the guard situation seems to be more than stable right now.
Here are some highlights showing what you can expect from the newest member of the Kentucky Wildcats!