New wrinkle to camp: etiquette class

Niya Butts
Niya Butts clearly has her eyes on her players' long-term futures.
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No doubt Arizona's women's basketball players are minding their manners.



These women have paved the way for other female athletes.

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.


The UConn Huskies are once again the class of women's basketball. But despite the rout, Louisville knows it had a hell of a month. Catch the best sights and action from the title game.

And hear why Geno Auriemma says this UConn team deserved the title more than any before it, and why the Cardinals won't let the loss damper their historic run.


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 appreciated.''

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.''

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