Reaching out to Bucknell transfer Nate Sestina quickly paid off for Calipari and Kentucy


Writer Devin Bierly of the Williamsport (Pa.) Sun Gazette admits that Nate Sestina’s transfer from Bucknell to Kentucky happened “quite quickly” for everyone.

The graduate transfer gave Kentucky coach John Calipari a needed inside presence for next season when he announced that he would transfer to UK two weeks before PJ Washington did the expected and put his name into the NBA draft.

Bierly said it took only a week for Sestina to decide he was transferring and pick Kentucky.

“Kentucky and John Calipari were the first to reach out and a couple days later he was in Lexington touring the facilities,” Bierly said. “Though he had interest from nearby Penn State, Georgia, TCU and especially Syracuse, it seemed like Kentucky was the place he wanted to be all along.”

Bierly says Calipari’s quick attention paid off.

“If Syracuse reached out first, he might’ve gone there,” Bierly said. “But talking to him it seemed like he was really taken back that Kentucky showed interest so quickly and I think that, plus the opportunity to play for a proven winner, was really the difference.”

Bucknell assistant coach Joe Meehan was the one who first reached out to Calipari after Sestina decided he was leaving Bucknell. Calipari contacted the 6-9, 245-pound Sestina on March 27 and it didn’t take long for him to take a three-day visit to UK.

“I’m very excited to get better, to learn. Obviously you get to learn basketball at a different level,” Sestina told Bierly. “Learn at a different institution while pursuing a masters degree and hopefully make a run in the NCAA Tournament.”

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