Nate Sestina is a 6–9, 245-pound forward who emerged last season as a versatile big man for Bucknell and who can impact the game both inside the paint and on the perimeter.
He officially became part of the Kentucky basketball program Thursday after announcing several weeks ago he was coming to UK as a graduate transfer after averaging 15.8 points per game, a team-high 8.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game last year when he was a starter for the first time. Sestina shot 53.6 percent and made 41 3-pointers.
“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,” UK coach John Calipari said in a released statement. “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.”
Sestina ranked sixth in the Patriot League in scoring and second in rebounding. He scored in double figures in 27 of 31 games this season and posted 11 double-doubles. He scored 20 or more points in 10 games last season, including his final two games that led to Patriot League All-Tournament honors.
He scored as many as 32 points against Holy Cross and win Patriot League Player of the Week after averaging 24.5 points and 10.5 rebounds against Army and Boston University. Sestina hauled in double-digit rebounds in 12 games, including three games with 15 or more.