Once Nate Sestina finishes his final semester at Bucknell, he will become a Kentucky Wildcat.
Two days after committing to UK, Sestina talked about his decision with Curtis Burch and Kyle Tucker on the Locked on Kentucky podcast. Brad Calipari, not John, deserves most of the credit for connecting Sestina with UK.
“Brad went on a foreign trip with one of our assistants last summer and two of my teammates here, so they got to know Brad and know Coach Cal a little bit,” Sestina said.
Once Sestina realized completing his career at Bucknell was out of the question, the assistant reached out to Coach Cal.
“I was shooting free throws in the gym and I get this call from Lexington, Kentucky. He says, ‘Hey, it’s Coach Calipari from Kentucky. How are you doing?’ At first I was like, this is crazy. Nobody where I’m from gets this phone call. Honestly, I’m just super humbled and super blessed to have the opportunity that has presented itself. It’s nothing short of surreal to me.”
Following the phone call with Calipari, they setup a visit to Lexington. He met with many of the players, received some advice from Reid Travis and toured the facilities. Walking into Rupp Arena was an enchanting experience. He cannot wait to play in front of the Big Blue Nation, whether it’s at home or on the road.
“That’s something I’m really looking forward to.” Sestina believes he’s ready for the abrupt transition. “Playing in the NCAA Tournament two years in a row I think has really helped me with that. It’s kind of prepared me for playing in front of that.”
The recruiting pitch was simple and straightforward. He did not need to hear any other school’s feedback.
“I think the thing that I really appreciated about the coaching staff here is they were just brutally honest about everything. They weren’t sugar-coating anything, promising minutes or anything like that,” he said. “If you work hard, you’re going to play.”
His life is going to change forever. A small-town kid, learning how to live in the spotlight of the Big Blue Nation will not be easy, but he’s up for the challenge.
“I never even realized it. This place is crazy.”
Hear about his upbringing, Travis’ advice and more by downloading Locked on Kentucky on iTunes.