By LARRY VAUGHT
During almost 90 minutes of interviews with coach John Calipari and his players during Tuesday’s Kentucky Basketball Media Day there was a lot of information — and some really insightful quotes.
However, something sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley said stuck with me more than anything else. Quickley was praised repeatedly by Calipari during his time with the media and the sophomore had a lot of media around him during the 45-minute session with players.
But what he said that caught my attention was about new teammate Nate Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell.
Sestina was not a five-star recruit. He’s not as highly regarded as graduate transfer Reid Travis was last year. He’s not expected to be a game-changer for the Cats like Travis was last year.
Yet here is what Quickley had to say when asked about Sestina:
“Nate is the best teammate I’ve ever played with, and I’ve been on a lot of teams and around a lot of players like on Team USA Basketball, and Nate is the best,” Quickley.
Not one of the best, but THE BEST.
Quickley has played with a lot of great players, including three first-round draft picks — P.J. Washington, Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson — at UK last year.
What makes him the best teammate?
“On the court he is always talking, off the court he is always talking. He made me breakfast one time, and he has taken me out to lunch. Best teammate I’ve ever played with,” Quickley said.
Okay, maybe cooking and buying lunch for a player can make him a bit biased toward a teammate. However, it’s obvious Sestina has made a big impression on his teammates.
“I think that being a veteran guy and playing college basketball for four years has really helped me out. Just talking through everything you do, even if you’re on the sidelines. Talk through and help the other guys so they can see what it’s like to communicate,” Sestina said Tuesday.
“Showing the difference between communicating and not communicating and the difference between if you communicate if the drill is great, and if you don’t, the drill is terrible.”