White hosts 'family dinners' for sports teams to build unity
Natalie Jurisevic, a senior defender on the women’s soccer team, enjoyed more than the food when her squad visited Athletic Director Danny White’s house for dinner -- she spent much of her time playing with the White family’s chocolate lab. Courtesy of Natalie Jurisevic
While the UB sports teams were hard at work this fall, their appetites were satisfied with food from the home of Athletic Director Danny White.
White hosted several dinners, catered by 3 Pillars Catering, for student-athletes throughout the fall season under a large white tent in his driveway. Every team came for at least one dinner and several teams came together, including the men's and women's soccer teams and the men's and women's tennis teams.
"We want to build a family atmosphere with our student-athletes," White said in an emailed statement. "They work extremely hard all year long and we want them to know we support them and we are a team."
Natalie Jurisevic, a senior defender on the women's soccer team, attended one of the dinners and appreciated White having the team over for a meal.
"It meant a lot to me because I feel as though non-revenue sports can be overlooked at times," Jurisevic said via email. "For Danny White to take the time to invite us all over and host an incredible meal shows how much he wants to get to know the players and teams."
3 Pillars Catering, which caters most of UB's events, varied the menu for each team. White said the student-athletes loved the food, with Pasta Carbonara being a favorite. Salad, bread, chicken cutlets and cookies were also served, according to Jurisevic.
"We partnered with 3 Pillars Catering on campus who did a fantastic job with the menu," White said. "It is great to have an on-campus resource like 3 Pillars. They did a great job."
Although 3 Pillars took care of preparing all the food, White said he enjoys cooking food on the grill himself as well.
The football team ate the most of any of team, according to White. Unsurprisingly, the offensive line had an especially large appetite and ate more than any other position group.
"The team was in season so they brought their appetite," White said.
In addition to enjoying the food, the students-athletes relaxed and played Cornhole on the lawn and shuffleboard and darts in White's basement. Jurisevic said she spent a majority of her time playing in the backyard with the White family's chocolate lab puppy.
Jurisevic noted the White family was kind and welcoming. She said White's daughters sang karaoke and the women's soccer team fell in love with White's toddler son. To her, it felt like going over to a family friend's house for dinner.
"It didn't feel like Danny White wanted to have us over just because it was his job," Jurisevic said. "But more that he enjoyed and was interested in getting to know each player in a different setting other than just sports."
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