If you missed the big news earlier, Bucknell grad transfer Nate Sestina committed to Kentucky. Jack’s already told you a little bit about Nate the player, but what about Nate the person? I hopped on the ole Google machine to find out more about the newest Kentucky Wildcat.
1. He’s from a small town in Pennsylvania
Odds are you haven’t heard of Emporium, Pennsylvania. The small town with a population of 1,900 is located in northern Pennsylvania in a valley of the Allegheny Mountains. Sestina is the first Division I basketball player from Cameron County, PA since the 1970s.
2. His older brothers are Marines
Nate is the youngest of five children; both of his brothers are Marines. His older brother Jason joined when Nate was in fourth grade and four years later, was deployed to Afghanistan. His other brother Andrew is a First Lieutenant stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California and surprised Nate on his Senior Day last month, the first time the two have seen each other in nearly two years.
— Patriot League Network | PatriotLeague.tv (@PatriotLeagueTV) March 2, 2019
Not gonna lie, it got a little dusty in Sojka when 1LT Andrew Sestina USMC surprised his brother Nate on Senior Day. Andrew flew in from San Diego to be here today. #rayBucknell #BisonFamily pic.twitter.com/ZbW5rPqKKb
— Bucknell MBasketball (@Bucknell_MBB) March 2, 2019
3. He takes leadership notes from his brothers
In an interview with the Patriot League Network, Nate says he draws a lot of inspiration from his brothers, particularly when it comes to leadership.
“With [Andrew] being a leader of 150 guys right now, I think that’s helped me with my leadership role. You have to be upbeat, but he always said, you have to correct your boots. You have to promote them but then you have to be able to bring them back down to Earth. I think that’s something I’ve carried with my through my entire life with Jason but especially with Andrew the last couple of years. The guys now, I understand that as a leader, you have to be able to show what you’re doing but then you have to be able to talk through it.”
— NCAA (@NCAA) February 24, 2019
4. A shoulder injury forced him to redshirt his freshman season
Four games into his freshman season, Sestina injured his shoulder and redshirted the rest of the year. Hence, his extra year of eligibility.
5. He’s played in the NCAA Tournament before
Kentucky is on a totally different level than Bucknell, but Sestina has played in the NCAA Tournament before. Last year, 14-seed Bucknell lost to 3-seed Michigan State in the first round 82-78. Sestina came off the bench with seven points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes. He admitted to D9 Sports’ Nate Steis that playing a blue blood like the Spartans on college basketball’s biggest stage was intimidating at first.
“I was starstruck by the NBA talent and playing against Tom Izzo. There were a lot of Michigan State fans and minimal Bucknell fans. I remember checking in and not being able to talk. After I got my first bucket against them, I was able to realize that Michigan State is not too much different than us.”
6. Losing in the Patriot League Tournament finals pushed him to continue his college career
Bucknell didn’t make the NCAA Tournament this year after losing to Colgate in the finals of the Patriot League Tournament, which Sestina said that pushed him to extend his college career as a grad transfer.
“Losing left a sour taste in my mouth,” Sestina told The Daily Item’s Kurt Ritzman. “The opportunity to play pro basketball was there. Since I was a kid, playing Division I basketball and then playing pro basketball — especially being from the area that I’m from — was always a dream of mine.”
“I felt I needed to improve some things. The opportunity to play college basketball for another year, make a run to the NCAA Tournament, and hopefully win some games, was very, very appealing. I want to find a place to grow and develop, but a place where I can be me and play my game — not a place where I’ll sit the bench.”
7. His major is geography
Sestina is leaving Bucknell with a bachelor of science in geography, and wants to pursue a master’s in environmental science, community leadership, or education. I hear UK is good at all of those things.
8. His favorite TV show is “The Office”
In a profile on HerCampus.com, I learned a lot of interesting things about Nate, such as his favorite TV show (“The Office”), movie (The Dark Knight), and life motto (“Smile and wave”). That’s just the tip of the Sestina iceberg. Nate also shared what he looks for in a girl (someone with a sarcastic sense of humor who also loves hoops and coffee), and his biggest turnoffs (apologizing for everything).
9. He loves golden retrievers
In fact, according to that same profile, he eventually wants two of them.
10. He also loves Dad jokes
It's another all-senior battle in the latest edition of "Dad Jokes", presented by @coldwellbanker. This clash between Nate Sestina and Matt O'Reilly comes down to wire! #rayBucknell #TheBisonWay pic.twitter.com/NC4QIYzuwy
— Bucknell MBasketball (@Bucknell_MBB) February 25, 2019
— Bucknell MBasketball (@Bucknell_MBB) January 17, 2019
Confession: I wrote this entire post just so I could share those. I need Nate to recreate this bit with TJ Beisner.