Nate Sestina Helps Hapoel Holon B.C. to Balkan League Title
HOLON, Israel – Former Kentucky men’s basketball forward Nate Sestina is a professional champion.
The Wildcat won a title with Hapoel Holon Basketball Club in Israel on Thursday just over a month since signing with the team as a free agent.
Hapoel Holon BC went 11-0 in the Balkan International Basketball League, which consists of professional teams from the Balkans (Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and Israel), and finished off the run with a 91-75 victory over Akademik Plovdiv in Holon, Israel.
Sestina played a key part in the victory with 14 points and five rebounds. He was 3 for 4 from the floor, 2 of 4 from behind the arc and 2 of 2 at the free-throw line in 23 minutes.
It didn’t take long for Sestina to make an immediate impact with Hapoel Holon. He has played nine total games with the club and five in the Balkan League, where he averaged 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Sestina will remain with Hapoel Holon as the team continues its season in the Israeli Basketball Premier League, the top-level division of Israeli pro club basketball.
Before heading overseas, Sestina played 15 games with the Long Island Nets, the G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets. Sestina averaged 7.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game with Long Island.
Sestina spent a season at Kentucky as a graduate transfer after four years at Bucknell. He added leadership, experience and key minutes off the bench as a stretch four as the 2019-20 Wildcats went 25-6 and won the Southeastern Conference regular-season title by three games.
The 6-foot-9 forward from Emporium, Pennsylvania, averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in his lone season at UK with four double-figure scoring games. He shot 46.3% from the floor and 40.7% from 3-point range, the second-best mark on the team.
Sestina’s season high was a 17-point effort on five 3-pointers vs. Ohio State. He also helped UK clinch the regular-season championship with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the home victory vs. No. 15/15 Auburn and flirted with a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds in the win at LSU.
Sestina was a 2019-20 Southeastern Conference First-Year Academic Honor Roll member and participated on UK’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Combined with a great career at Bucknell, where he was a Second Team All-Patriot League selection in his final season in 2018-19, Sestina finished his college career with 1,037 points, 621 rebounds and 86 blocks.
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