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Bucknell’s Nate Sestina becomes Kentucky’s latest grad-transfer addition

Bucknell v North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 15: Nate Sestina #4 of the Bucknell Bison reacts after making a three-point basket against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at the Dean Smith Center on November 15, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 93-81. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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After a breakout redshirt junior year, Bucknell’s Nate Sestina is headed to the big time.

The forward from Emporium, Penn. will graduate transfer to Kentucky and finish his career with the Wildcats next season, he announced Thursday.

“It’s been an amazing ride from Emporium to Bucknell and everywhere in between, and it’s surreal to think my college basketball career isn’t over yet,” Sestina wrote on social media. “I’m humbled to get started with @KentuckyMBB! Need to thank God, my family, my coaches, teammates and @UKCoachCalipari #BBN”

Sestina follows in the footsteps of Reid Travis, who finished his career in Lexington this past season after spending four years with Stanford. Sestina, though, gives Kentucky something Travis couldn’t - a floor spacer in the post.

The 6-foot-9 forward shot 38 percent on over 100 3-point attempts last season as he averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He shot 80.5 percent from the free-throw line and 53.6 percent from the floor overall. It was a major step forward after Sestina averaged just 6.5 points in 14.9 minutes per game the previous season. He redshirted the 2015-16 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

He’ll also provide what Travis did for John Calipari - a veteran and experienced voice on the floor and in the locker room for what figures to be, as is every season, a young Kentucky team.