Nate Sestina will officially be wearing the Blue and White next season as Kentucky’s latest grad transfer. We’ve already given you the top 10 things to know about him and what he could mean for the program, but now you can get to know Sestina on an even more personal level.
This video, produced by Patriot League TV, showcases Sestina during his senior season at his alma mater, Bucknell. In it, Sestina gives viewers an inside look into his family life, which includes four siblings, two of which have spent time serving in the military. Sestina says watching them grow as leaders through their service has impacted his own leadership skills and his perspective on life.
“When [his brother] was 21 years old, he was in Afghanistan. I wake up like ‘oh, I don’t want to go to class today’ or ‘I don’t want to go to practice today,’ and he woke up and was like ‘I hope I make it through today,” Sestina said of his brother, Jason.
That mindset pushed Sestina to become one of Bucknell’s leaders on and off the court, according to Bison head coach Nathan Davis.
“He’s been, for four years, one of our hardest workers,” Davis said. “And now, with him focused on being one of the better players, it makes it hard for the guys not playing as much to not work as hard as he is.”
John Calipari clearly saw how much Reid Travis was able to contribute from a leadership standpoint, revealing that Travis was often the one to get the team re-focused during an off-day of practice. His experience gave the Cats a sense of security, and Coach Cal may be hoping for the same thing in Sestina. Travis averaged over 28 minutes per game and typically started for the Wildcats. While neither of these things may end up being true for Sestina, he’ll be alright – he’s used to proving himself.
“Everybody always asks me: ‘You could have played somewhere else and been ‘The Guy’ or whatever instead of playing behind Nana [Foulland] and Zack [Thomas], but I think playing behind those two guys has been the best thing for me,” Sestina said. “It brought me back to reality. Going from being a First-Team, All-State guy in high school to coming here and not playing, I was really hurt. It was a culture shock.”
He also described the culture shock of transitioning from playing in a high school gym in a small town with a population of 1,900 people to playing in front of 4,000 people. If he thinks that’s drastic, just wait until he gets inside Rupp Arena.
Welcome to Kentucky, Nate Sestina! The BBN is happy to have you.