Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Whyte Discusses WNBA Draft Selection
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 16, 2013
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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April 16, 2013

TUCSON, Ariz. -

Senior Niya Butts met with local media on Tuesday to discuss her 16th-overall pick in the WNBA draft to San Antonio.


On her first impressions after learning her fate:

“I was kind of shocked, I didn’t really say much. Our SID told me that if I got drafted, she was going to come get a quote from me and I was just kind of sitting at the banquet and not really paying attention, and I look and see her and think, ‘no, she’s just walking.’ I look again and she’s coming up to me and I thought, ‘this is crazy, I can’t believe it.’ It was a shock. I still don’t really have the words to grasp my feelings right now. I just can’t believe it, really.”

On what she knows about San Antonio:

“I’m glad that it’s warm there, because I’m not used to cold weather, so that’s a definite plus. I talked to the coach and it’s just a good fit and I’m really excited for it.”

On what it means to be a good fit:

“The way they play, the style, the players, the coaches. They play a fast tempo and that’s what I’m used to from playing at Arizona.”

On when the news hit her:

“It still hasn’t hit me and I’ve talked to the coach twice now, so I don’t know when it’s going to hit me. Maybe when I get there? I don’t know.”

On being at the point where she can take over her dreams:

“I think everything that I’ve done this far has been part of a dream that I want to go after, so this is just the next step. Being here—you can’t really say what college is going to be like until you’ve been through it. We had our ups and downs, our good moments, our bad moments. I don’t regret anything. It has been fun. It’s not over yet, but I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s going to help me for the next level.”

On how Arizona has prepared her for the next level:

“I think for the most part, the coaching staff has helped, because they’ve all been through what we went through. Overall, in basketball, they have helped us become who we are today, so I just really want to thank them.”

On thinking about her expectations at the next level:

“I think it’s a little too early, but at the same time, when I came here, Coach Butts told me the same thing—you can start if you want to. If you try hard enough and have the self-motivation and dedication, you can pretty much do whatever. I took that and ran with it and this is where it has gotten me, so if he tells me the same thing, I’m going with the same mentality.”

On her conversation with Coach Hughes:

“He has faith in me and I am ready.”

On talking to her dad about how it is to be a professional athlete:

“Not too much—we are still kind of in the celebration phase. It won’t last too much longer, but he’s kind of gotten me ready for that my whole life. The sportsmanship role and all of that—little lessons that he has taught me throughout the years I think will help.”

On her upcoming timeline:

“I don’t know specific dates, but we will start within the next month.”

On being a player drafted from Arizona:

“I think it just shows that you don’t have to be at those big schools to get your name out there. You just have to play hard and represent your university and it speaks for itself.”

Coach Butts

On what more she can say about Whyte:

“I’m happy for her. I think this is an outstanding honor for her and our program. She is very deserving. She’s worked very hard and put herself in this position to have an opportunity to play at the next level. I think she is going to be a better professional. The things that she can do on the floor--offensively and defensively—she’s going to fit right in with a veteran group down in San Antonio. Coach Hughes is a great guy. I’ve known him over the years and I did speak with him after last night’s draft. I think I put a little more pressure on Davellyn now that I’ve talked to him in detail about her because I told him he had a good one. And I told him that he had somebody that can do a lot of things for him and that he should be excited. We, as a staff—and I think I speak for our entire staff in saying, it’s a proud moment for us. Davellyn was the first recruit that we had that took a chance on us, on the vision. Certainly we would have liked to have a few more wins for her in her career, but at the end of the day, she wanted to play at the next level. She wanted to be a professional player and she’s gotten there. And I feel like she has gotten there with our help, but also her hard work, energy and drive.”

On Whyte’s upcoming schedule:

“She is going to graduate, so that is what she is focusing on right now. Finishing strong in the classroom.”


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