Etiquette lessons for Arizona women's hoops

Dhon Santos/Santos Photography

The Arizona women’s basketball program is concerned with producing some great basketball players, but there is another less known priority in Tuscon – producing student-athletes who practice proper etiquette.

Head coach Niya Butts has provided the Wildcats with the opportunity to attend etiquette classes, which involve the athletes being instructed with proper etiquette practices while eating a meal together at a nice restaurant in Tuscon.

“I feel like it’s very important. We sit here and talk about basketball and the games, but at the end of the day, my job as a coach and as a leader is to make sure they get experiences as student-athletes and to teach them how it’s going to be when they’re done,” said Butts who enters her sixth season at Arizona.

The players seem to agree that the etiquette classes are helpful, or at the very least they enjoy the free meal.

“It teaches you how to conduct yourself in a fine dining restaurant. I learned to hold my fork, how to place my napkin, little stuff like that. I always think about it. It was one night at a nice restaurant in Tuscon – the food was great,” said junior guard Candice Warthen who returns to the floor after missing the 2012-13 season due to injury.

Not only does Butts want to give her athletes a lesson in proper etiquette, but she also wants to create more opportunities that allow them to become more well-rounded people.

“When we go to UAB, we will stay a little longer so we can go to the civil rights museum as a team. I think it’s those things that create the best opportunities,” Butts said.