Warthen returns to action after lost year
Being off the court for a year leaves a player waiting and watching their teammates compete without them. After a productive sophomore season, Candice Warthen was projected to have a significant role during her junior year on the 2012-13 team. However, a knee injury forced the 5-foot-5 guard to medically redshirt and miss the entire season.
“When I found out, it was very difficult to take, but I felt like everything happens for a reason and there was a reason why it happened,” Warthen said. “It was difficult but I tried to help my team as far as helping them win any way I could.”
Warthen last suited up for the Wildcats on March 8, 2012 in the Pac-12 tournament against ASU and chipped in 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 36 minutes.
The road to recovery has not been easy for Warthen but she is nearly 100 percent healthy.
Shane Bekian / The Daily Wildcat Junior guard Candice Warthen, a psychology major, talks about her competitive spirit and contribution to her team at the Women's Basketball Media Luncheon on Thursday at the McKale Center. Warthen says that the team will focus more on defense this season.
“It’s been great. In the beginning it was frustrating but I feel like I’m going to come back even better than before,” Warthen said. “I feel like I’ll pick up where I left off.”
Senior Kama Griffitts said she sees Warthen as a considerable addition to the team.
“I’ve never played with Candice but since she’s been back, I’ve noticed she’s a great player and she plays really hard,” Griffitts said. “She’s a huge threat on the floor, so she’s going to have a huge impact on the team.”
Head coach Niya Butts had to switch her rotations after Warthen redshirted last season and said she couldn’t be more excited to get her back in action.
“Her energy level and her effort that she brings, especially her intensity defensively and offensively, has been really good for us and something we certainly missed over the past year and a half,” Butts said.
The exhibition season is right around the corner with the Wildcats’ first opponent being Fort Lewis on Nov. 2.
— Follow Roberto Payne @RPsportreporter