Gopher Spotlight: Ariana Filho gophersports.com catches up with the middle blocker from Colorado
Nov. 11, 2011
Q: Where does cultural background originate from? A: Brazil. My dad is cold-blood Brazilian. I am half.
Q: How often do people mispronounce Filho? A: Probably about 91 percent of the time. It's usually Fill-Ho, that's a very common one, or File-Oh, sometimes we get random ones like Fill-vo. The team makes fun of one at the airport, one time they said Fillmore. So I don't know how they got Fillmore out of Filho but I'm used to it by now.
Q: Does Filho mean anything? It's Brazilian too right? A: It's Portuguese but Brazilian, yes. It means son on my dad's family background in Brazil, our last name meant Wolfson. It's kind of like in America where there is Jr. like Charles Jr. When we came to America the last name was so long that they just cut it down to the son part so there's actually a common amount of people who have Filho as their last name who I'm not related to all. People think that I am by default of the last name but it's just means son, kind of like Jr.
Q: What are you planning on majoring in? A: Child Psychology.
Q: How does your intended major fit in with your dream job? A: I would love to go overseas into another country to work with kids, maybe even if that's here. To build life on life with them, do day camps, teach sports with them - especially orphans, ones who don't have the care that they need to develop secure attachments because they don't have parents or older examples at all poignant to their lives. That's really, especially from my child psych classes, learning how important that is for their development long-term. I would love to just be that for them. Be an attachment for them and build on their lives and teach them things and play games with them. I just love kids.
Q: What led you to that interest? A: It's funny I actually came into college wanting to work with animals. Then I switched to going from helping animals to helping humans, but I think the factor of my big family played into that a lot with having nine siblings. Now I have nineteen nieces and nephews so I've been an aunt since I was 10. I grew up taking care of my nieces and nephews, playing with them, loving them and loving my big family. Through that I've always had a desire to work with kids, but I just thought that maybe that would be a backup plan if something else happened. However, as I was going through taking classes here I realized that's the direction I want to go and now it's figuring out what direction to take next because there's so many different ways.
Q: When did you know volleyball was right for you? A: Probably between freshman and sophomore year of high school. I didn't even start playing club volleyball until eighth grade. I played soccer all my life. My family is an all-soccer family and then I started to veer away from that and I played basketball as well, so did my brothers. I played volleyball in middle school because I was tall, but club wasn't until eighth grade. I remember my freshman year of high school doing club and my dad kind of making a joke with me like, `Okay if you get a full-ride scholarship to a college on volleyball then I'll buy you a car.' So I was like, `Okay. It's on.' So at that point, as much as I didn't know about volleyball, I was really coachable and my quick feet from soccer played into that so it worked out really well for me. I just really started to enjoy the game. Even though I had no idea what I was doing out there it was really fun and I loved it so by sophomore year of high school. I quit basketball, I quit soccer and was like I'm going all out for volleyball.
Q: Did you get that car? A: It's promised to me when I graduate so my parents are already looking. I made my dad sign something so that he wouldn't forget because I knew that he would pretend he forgot. So I was like, `You made a promise to me,' and then I got my full-ride. It worked for them; they didn't have to pay for college.
Q: Any car in particular that you have your heart set on? A: Nope. Not really. There's car I would like that are out of my price-range for my parents but they're looking for new ones, one that'll last me a while. Obviously most gas efficient, most safety and all that stuff. Since they're paying for that I'll let them work through that, give me a top five and then I'll choose from there.
Q: Athletically speaking, you did a lot growing up. If you weren't playing volleyball, what would you be your sport? A: Soccer. I miss soccer all the time. I love watching it. I still cheer for Brazil and yes America sometimes but mainly I love cheering for Brazil during the World Cup time. I think I would keep playing soccer for sure.
Q: How do you feel competition has been like in the Big Ten so far this season? A: It's been good. This season pretty much every team in the Big Ten is good in their own different way. I love it because it keeps us competitive for every game and makes us focus on every game individually. In the Big Ten, we're blessed to have this many teams that are that good. It makes us better. It makes them better and so it's been a lot good this year than the last couple years I've played here. It's a great thing. I enjoy it a lot.