SPAIN – Three District 9 basketball alums are currently touring Spain with a basketball team made up of college players after being invited by the Global Sports Academy to participate in an annual tour.
Cameron County graduate Nate Sestina of Bucknell, Smethport graduate Zach Smith of Pitt and Johnsonburg graduate Cameron Grumley of Clarion are all on a team coached by Rhode Island assistant coach Justin Lang. The trio is joined on the squad by Brady Jacks of Babson, Brian Horn and Langdon Neal of Trinity, Sam Johnson of Gordon, Hunter Eggers of Franklin & Marshall and Dylan Groff of Amherst.
The team is visiting cities such as Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid while playing four games against local clubs.
Sestina, coming off a shoulder injury, played four games as a freshman last year for Bucknell scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds before suffering the season-ending injury against Navy Dec. 30. His best game was a 10-point effort against Fairfield.
Smith sat out all of last season at Pitt via NCAA rules after transferring to main campus from Pitt-Bradford and earning a walk-on spot.
Grumley saw action in 30 games with eight starts for Clarion averaging 5.3 points per game while dishing out 29 assists and coming away with 29 steals. In two years with the Golden Eagles, the combo guard has scored 349 career points.
All three players were among some of the best to ever don a uniform in District 9.
Sestina led Cameron County to the PIAA playoffs and a second-place District 9 Class A finish in 2015 when he was named the All American Awards & Engraving D9Sports.com Co-District 9 Boys’ Player of the Year. He averaged 21.5 points, 14.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.9 blocks and 1.6 steals per game as a senior while recording 26 double-doubles in 28 games. He finished his career as the third-leading scorer in school history with 1,698 points.
Smith helped Smethport to its first-ever District 9 title (in Class AA) in 2012 and then helped the Hubbers back to the PIAA playoffs in Class A as a senior in 2013. He was a three-time All American Awards & Engraving D9Sports.com All-District player including a first-team selection as both a junior and a senior. His senior season, he averaged 22.3 points, 9.5 rebounds. 2.3 steals and 1.5 assists per game and finished his career as Smethport’s all-time leading scorer with 1,628 career points.
Grumley helped lead Johnsonburg to a second-place PIAA Class A finish as a junior in 2013 when the Rams also won the District 9 title. He joined teammate Cole Peterson as the Co-All American Awards & Engraving D9Sports.com Player of the Year in both 2013 and 2014 and was also a third-team All-District selection as a sophomore in 2012. As a senior, he averaged 21.1 points, 7.2 rebounds. 3.4 assists and 4.3 steals per game and finished his career as the third-leading scorer in Johnsonburg history with 1,513 career points.