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Reid Travis’ honesty led Sestina to Kentucky

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Under Coach Cal, UK has rostered three graduate transfers: Julius Mays, Reid Travis, and now Nate Sestina.

Sestina was attracted to Kentucky because of its big stage and coaching staff, but an article from Nate Steis of D9sports.com reveals a new detail in how the Cats landed the grad transfer:

It was [Reid] Travis who helped Sestina understand the role he would have both as a player but also overall as a person at Kentucky.

Sestina knew playing in Lexington would help polish his game and put him in a position to play professionally, but he didn’t know what his exact role would look like on a team run by younger guys.

Who did he turn to for advice? Reid Travis, the grad transfer who averaged 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game for the 2018-19 Wildcats.

“Reid was clear and super honest about what it would be like for me,” Sestina said. “He told me you’re going to be the biggest leader and also you’re going to have to work your tail off to help this team win. It is challenging, but I know you can fill this role.”

From there, the decision seemed easy.

With Travis’ honesty and the coaches’ unprecedented interest, Sestina began to realize that Kentucky was the best fit for him over other possible options.

As a senior at Bucknell, Sestina averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and shot 38% from three. According to Steis, the 6-9 forward will arrive on campus in June.

As one grad transfer leaves, another comes in for the Wildcats. A little over a week removed from his one season on the team, Travis already seems to be embracing the role of an ambassador for Kentucky basketball.

Article written by Ty Schadt

23 Comments for Reid Travis’ honesty led Sestina to Kentucky



  1. Bobbum Man
    7:33 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    I hope cal does this every.single.year…. we know he’s a good judge of character, say what u want about our players but we’ve had some great great kids come through here with 0 issues. While they won’t be like Reid it can only help to have a veteran on the team to help the youngsters and provide some leadership



    • Han
      8:15 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      I hope we keep getting good upperclassmen transfers to complement the freshmen who need time to adjust. But the NCAA is moving to make it more costly with the whole “have to get their master’s in a year or the schollie counts for 2 years” thing.



    • UKinIN
      8:21 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Recruiting is about to go through a major overhaul with the elimination of the NBA’s must be 19 years old rule. But if Calipari had landed one of the 2019 high school bigs he wouldn’t have recruited Sestina.



    • IrishCat
      9:20 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Cal’s got leftover scholarships every season anyway. Bring ‘em on in!



    • mm40
      9:38 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      You have no basis to say he would not have recruited Sestina if a high school big would have committed. You’re blowing smoke



    • Miller45
      10:58 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Im with you I hope there is a continuation of this. Almost like a coach on the court



  2. CatfaninCinci
    7:39 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Seems like Cal has finally realized the value of experience on his rosters.



  3. mashman 93
    7:57 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Reid is just a special guy. GO CATS!



  4. bpisforuk
    8:02 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Not sure what Reid’s plans are after playing basketball is over for him, but would love to see him in a role on the staff.



    • bigblue98
      8:22 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Agreed – Reid will do outstanding in whatever he pursues. If coaching down the road we would be lucky to have him on the staff.



  5. UKinIN
    8:12 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Travis was just what UK needed because he was so strong down low. Not sure Sestina fills that role.



    • Fitz
      8:32 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Sestina is no Travis downlow, but a more versatile player than Reid. A different style player who will help but I don’t think he’s the answer to our inside play.



    • IrishCat
      9:23 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      My hope for Sestina is that he can get some buckets while we go through the periods of stagnant offense that our young teams usually have. That, reliable rebounding and average defense would be very valuable.



    • dcforuk
      9:15 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Travis sometimes struggled just a bit with getting his shot blocked (but was an awesome addition). I think this kid will struggle more in that area but we shall see. He is a big body…..



  6. ScottGreene22
    8:22 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Bring in Reid as a GRAD Assistant coach



  7. Fitz
    8:28 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    A spot on comment re the character read by Cal on his recruits. There have been a number of top recruits Cal has not shown much interest because they are not the kind of young men he wants or UK needs.



    • makeitstop
      12:09 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

      Yep – very few problems in 10 years. He has a nose for it and avoids it. Barnhart and Stoops, and Cal hv ensured clean programs.



  8. TMacFromNichVegas
    8:37 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    I agree with all of the above!!!



  9. tree_gardener
    9:16 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    I know we only had him for a year.. but I miss Reid Travis.



  10. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    9:20 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    I would love for us to get a top Kentucky high school player, a grad transfer big, a grad transfer guard, and 2-3 future NBA all stars every year. Is that asking too much?



    • brandond373
      11:34 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      People would still find a way to complain lol



  11. jonthes
    11:09 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    I think that in the future both Reid and Tyler Ulis will be coaching at UK and I hope I live long enough to see those teams.



  12. iamyourdaddy
    12:39 pm April 8, 2019 Permalink

    Exquisite