One of the best moments of Kentucky’s win over Michigan State was Nate Sestina’s three to put the Cats up by 13 with ten minutes left. Sestina’s old teammates at Bucknell were so excited when it happened that the bus driver taking them home from a game had to pull over.
“I called the coaches at Bucknell and thanked them and said, ‘You did a great job with this kid,'” John Calipari said today. “You really did. And they said after their game with Fairfield, they were on the bus watching our game and when he made that three, the bus had to pull over because they were going absolutely bonkers on the bus. Which, that’s the kind of stuff that makes this great, that stuff.”
That’s pretty tame compared to Sestina’s dad’s reaction after the game.
“His dad — I said, ‘How were your parents?’ They came up to him after like, ‘Holy —-!’ I mean, what’s better than that, seriously?”
Sestina’s old teammates teasing him about blocking a shot, that’s what.
“They were surprised I could jump,” Sestina said of his block. “My guys from Bucknell, they watched the game on their bus home from Fairfield and they were like, ‘When did you learn how to jump?’ I was like, okay, everybody’s kind of gassing it up.”
(As a side note, my theory that Nate Sestina traveled here in time from the 1950s is really picking up steam after that “gassing it up” comment.)
Sestina finished the game with seven points, six rebounds, two assists, and a block, but Calipari said that even when he was out, he had an impact. During the game, Sestina and Riley Welch counted Kentucky’s defensive kills (three stops in a row) on the bench, yelling them out to the players on the court.
“When you had Nate on the bench, you had two of them. ‘That’s two stops. One more, we got a kill, one more we got a kill!’ That’s what you want on your team.”
Seriously, best teammate ever. Maybe one day, best coach ever?
“He can coach,” Cal quipped. “He can coach the team. I won’t go. As long as they pay me, I’m good.”