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Nate Sestina signs with Turkish professional team Turk Telekom

Article written by:On3 imageZack Geoghegan


Photo by Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Nate Sestina has found a new professional basketball home, and he won’t have to travel far to get there.

On Wednesday morning, it was announced that the 25-year-old Sestina has agreed to a deal with Turk Telekom BK for the 2022-23 season, which plays in the Turkish Basketball Super League and the EuroCup. Sestina spent the 2021-22 season with fellow BSL franchise Yukatel Merkezefendi.

This will be Sestina’s third professional season as a player.

Sestina spent one season at Kentucky as a graduate transfer in 2019-20 following an impressive four-year career at Bucknell. The 6-foot-9 forward appeared in 28 games for the Wildcats, including seven starts, where he averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game. Sestina shot 50.7 percent from the floor and was an efficient 40.7 percent from distance while playing in Lexington.

Since his college days, Sestina has bounced around a bit while he looks for a long-term home. The COVID-19 pandemic cost him his first professional opportunity overseas but he was able to make a stop back in the United States shortly after. Sestina signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Brooklyn Nets in Nov. 2020 and later played for the franchise’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets.

However, he didn’t stick, and eventually wound up in Israel in March 2021, where he would help Hapoel Holon win the Balkan League Championship. Sestina then signed with Merkezefendi in July 2021, averaging 9.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 26.0 minutes per game. He also shot 45.5 percent from beyond the arc on 4.1 attempts per outing, although his team finished just 8-22 on the season.

Sestina is the second known former Kentucky player to sign with Turk Telekom. One-time Wildcat Kyle Wiltjer spent the ’19-20 and ’20-21 seasons with the Turkish club.

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