That is the first thing you notice when you see Nuno Furtado. The Junior Transfer Tight End is listed at 6′ 5′ and 255 pounds. When he is around fellow Tight End Kevin Perry he just looks much bigger. Perry is listed at 6′ 5″ also, but at 225 pounds.
After adjusting my camcorder, aiming it up, I began my interview with the big man, and what a great young man he was to talk with. He had just finished working an extra half an hour, or more, with Kevin Perry, and was one of the last players to leave the field.
Kyyote: Folks I’ve got Nuno (pronounced Noonoo) Furtado, and he’s a tight end. The first thing you have to say is he’s huge (Nuno chuckles)! Tell me a little bit about your travels. Let’s start at the beginning. Where are you from?
Furtado: I’m from Angola, Africa. I moved to Portugal with my mom, when I was eight. I went to high school out there until my last year, eleventh grade. Then, I moved back to Angola, and I finished high school there. I moved back there when I was 15, 16 years old.
Kyyote: Did you play high school football, there?
Furtado: No, we don’t have that in Africa. We have soccer.
Did you play soccer?
Yeah. That’s pretty much what I played, there.
Then, you moved back to Angola.
Yes, sir. I stayed there for a year and a half, finished high school there, and then moved to Arizona. Since I didn’t have English classes, when I moved here, I had to take my senior year, again, in high school. So, I did that at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix.
What sports did you play when you got to Arizona?
I played basketball, football, track, and I tried out for soccer, but it was competing with the basketball season.
How did you, when did you start playing basketball, when you got there to Arizona?
Furtado: (Nods) When I got there.
Somebody else looked at you and said, wait a minute. That’s a basketball player right there, huh?
Yeah, I just came from vacation, and I went to a high school open gym and stuff, and the coach asked me if I wanted to try out, and I did. I was lucky, the coach worked with me, so I began to pick up English, pick up the language, and went to a great school.
Soccer gave you the athleticism, and the coordination too though, huh? So it wasn’t that much of a move. It’s not like you were just a big tall guy who didn’t know what you are doing out there.
I was much lighter then, too.
So, you played some football in Arizona?
I did. I did. Actually, I only played two games, because, unfortunately, IA thought I was professional. I had to go to meetings and stuff, and explain to them that we don’t have football back where I’m from. So. . .
You couldn’t be professional, even if you’d wanted to! Then, you went to school, after Arizona where did you go?
I went to Central Arizona College. That’s in Casa Grande. I had a scholarship for basketball, for two years out there. It was a nice school. I transferred, after that, I had another scholarship for Cal State, Los Angeles. It’s a pretty good school, too. Then, transferred here.
How did you get here?
Well, I was looking at a, I was looking at UTEP in high school, and I liked the school. It’s close to Arizona, and I have my cousins there. So, last year I couldn’t take classes in my major because of basketball practices and stuff. So, I just decided to transfer, and just dedicate my first semester to school and catch up. Plus, my girlfriend goes to school here. She plays softball.
Yeah, well, say no more. That pretty much tells it right there.
Yes, sir (laughing).
Well, thank your girlfriend for me, will you? I appreciate that.
I will (laughing some more). I will, sir.
Now, are you going to try and play basketball here, too?
Yes, sir. I have a year left for basketball, so I’ll see how that goes.
Well, we can use your inside presence, huh? We’ve lost a lot of our big men, so that’ll be excellent. Obviously, playing basketball helps with having good hands.
It does. One thing that every coach since high school is telling me is that to play the game you need to learn how to pass and catch. You’ve got to have those hands.
When did you learn English? Because, by golly, your English is better than half of the people’s I know.
Thank you. I have my rough times. In high school I had three months, I believe, that they were pretty tough. The teacher would put slides on the board, they would be there for ten minutes, but ten minutes was enough for everyone else, but it wasn’t enough for me. So, I just went and talked to her, and tried to explain to her, and every teacher, that I really don’t understand. So they would give me the slides, and I would just read them at home. And by reading, and watching TV, TV helped me a lot, I kind of caught up to it. But, I still have my mistakes. I still work on it.
You’ve caught up very well. Are you catching up on the football just as fast?
Yes, sir. I am. I did my first three practices, where I really progressed a lot. Then, we have some new plays we put in, and I’m still trying to catch up to those ones. But, I believe I’m doing good, catching up every day.
What’s your major, here?
No wonder you caught up on the English pretty quick. That’s excellent.
Now, I’m going, I almost feel silly asking after finding out what your major is, how are your grades?
Pretty good. They’re pretty good. I had a 3.3. or 3.2 last semester.
That’s pretty good for somebody that’s picking up a second language, or the English language, huh?
Yes, sir. I’m just trying to get better this semester. I had tougher classes this semester. I’m still grinding, though.
My last thing, if I don’t ask this,if I don’t get this on here I’ll get in big trouble. You have to say hello to Mom, you’ve got to say hello to the family back home and everything else, alright?
Hey, Mom. I love you. I love you, sisters. You’ve always been there for me. To all of my family back home, Angola!
That’s fantastic! Thank you, very much.
Nuno is a very friendly, charming young man. His smile is just as big as the rest on him. I look forward to watching the big man with the number 94 on his jersey progress this season. Then, we can see how he does on the hardwood. I will bet money that no one pushes him around in the paint.
Here’s the video of the interview;