SAN FRANCISCO — No doubt Arizona’s women’s basketball players are minding
That is just part of the program for the Wildcats. On and off the court,
sixth-year coach Niya Butts wants her players to be at their best in all
settings and situations.
So, the Wildcats visited a restaurant in Tucson for etiquette training again
before this season — a lesson one evening at McMahon’s Prime Steakhouse.
Junior guard Candice Warthen has picked up several tips by participating in the
training several times now.
“It’s basically how to conduct yourself in a real fancy or fine-and-dine
restaurant,” Warthen said. “I learned how to put my forks and how I should put
my napkin and do little stuff like that. It’s really helpful, though, because
ever since then, every time I go somewhere to eat, I always think about it even
though I’m not doing everything right.”
And even Butts insists she has things to learn when it comes to where her
silverware should be and making sure to keep her napkin in her lap and elbows
off the table.
Not only does Butts consider it her job to prepare her players for life beyond
basketball, the dinner out also became a fun team-building event.
During her playing days at Tennessee — she won national titles with the Lady
Vols in 1997 and `98 — the team did this very activity together.
“I definitely don’t always do it right but I think it’s important that a lot
of these students they go to McDonald’s and they go to these different
restaurants, but when they graduate, and hopefully they’re going to have really
nice jobs and if they’re not trained and they’re maybe with their bosses or
their co-workers … we need to be able to conduct ourselves,” Butts said.
“I’ve had my share of meals. We had stuff like this when I was a
student-athlete. It’s things like this that were passed on to me that I really
Hall of Fame Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer has done a similar training session
in the past.
Senior Pac-12 Player of the Year Chiney Ogwumike might be up for that.
“Ahh, that’d be interesting,” Ogwumike said. “I think that’s a good skill to
have, especially going into the real world, like I will be, too.”