Nene during Wizards pre game warm ups in April 2015
|Born||Maybyner Rodney Hilario |
September 13, 1982
Sao Paulo, Brazil
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||250 lb (107 kg)|
|NBA Draft||2002 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th|
|Selected by the New York Knicks|
|Playing career||1999–present (22 years)|
|1999–2002||Vasco da Gama|
|Career highlights and awards|
Nenê (born September 13, 1982) is a Brazilian professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the NBA. His birth name was Maybyner Rodney Hilário, but it was legally changed to Nenê in 2003.
Born in São Carlos, Brazil, he received his nickname "Nenê" (Brazilian Portuguese for baby) because he was the youngest in both his family and his group of childhood friends. Like most Brazilian children, he started out playing soccer and was invited to train with pro clubs at a young age In the mid-1990s, he started playing basketball at Escola de Basquete Meneghelli in his hometown. He later played professionally for Vasco da Gama between 1999 and 2002. In 2001, he became a part of the Brazilian national team and participated in the Goodwill Games.
Denver Nuggets (2002–2012)
Nenê's successful three-year stint playing in Brazil earned him an NBA pre-draft camp invitation in Chicago in 2002. He was later selected by the New York Knicks with the seventh overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, and immediately traded him to the Denver Nuggets. He was the first Brazilian ever to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft.
Nenê began the 2002–03 season as a bench player, but ended it as a starter, averaging 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals, and ranked sixth in the NBA in field goal percentage (.519) and 20th in steals. He subsequently earned NBA All-Rookie first team honors.
In his second season, Nenê played and started in 77 games, averaging 11.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 32.5 minutes per games. He ranked fourth in the NBA in field goal percentage (.530).
In his third season, Nenê missed 27 games – 13 games due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, two games due to a right hip contusion, eight games due to a strained left hamstring, and four games due to an NBA suspension. He consequently managed just 55 games in 2004–05, averaging 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game.
In 2007–08, Nenê played in just 16 games, averaging 5.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game. He suffered a torn ulner collateral ligament in his left thumb against the Boston Celtics on November 7 and missed the next 22 games. He later missed 37 games between January 11 and March 24 after a bout with testicular cancer. A right groin strain also forced him to miss the final six games of the season as well.
In response to his poor run of injuries and missed time, Nenê had a career-best year in 2008–09. He appeared in 77 games (76 starts) and averaged career-highs of 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.31 blocks, in addition to 1.23 steals in 32.6 minutes per game. He subsequently finished fifth in voting for the 2008–09 NBA Most Improved Player award. He also ranked second in the NBA in field goal percentage (.604 – 428-of-709), the best single-season mark in Nuggets' franchise history.
In 2009–10, Nenê played and started all 82 games for the first time in his career and averaged 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, a career-high 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks in a career-high 33.6 minutes per game.
In 2010–11, Nenê appeared in 75 games (starting all 75), averaging 14.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.12 steals while shooting an NBA-leading .615 from the field in 30.5 minutes per game.
Washington Wizards (2012–2016)
On March 15, 2012, Nenê was traded to the Washington Wizards in a three-way trade involving the Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 13.7 points and 7.5 rebounds in 39 total games (33 starts) with Washington and Denver during the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season.
In 2012–13, Nenê averaged 12.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 27.2 minutes per game in 61 games (49 starts). On January 21, 2013, he scored a season-high 24 points in a 98–95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
On November 26, 2013, Nenê scored a career-high 30 points in a 116–111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Later that season, on February 22, Nenê matched that career-high in a 94–93 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
In 2014–15, various injuries and ailments limited Nenê's ability to produce at an optimum level, though he appeared in the most games (67) in five years. Towards the end of the season, when Nenê was relegated to more a supporting role to Marcin Gortat, he was a better rebounder and did more of the dirty work required. He averaged 11.0 points and 5.1 rebounds on 51.1% shooting during the season.
Nenê appeared in 12 of team's first 13 games to begin the 2015–16 season, but between November 28 and January 3, he missed 19 straight games with a strained left calf. On March 14, 2016, he scored a season-high 20 points off the bench in a 124–81 win over the Detroit Pistons, Washington's largest victory since the 2002–03 season.
Houston Rockets (2016–present)
On July 20, 2016, Nenê signed with the Houston Rockets. He made his debut for the Rockets in their season opener on October 26, scoring seven points off the bench in a 120–114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
On January 11, 2008, Nenê released a statement saying that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the Denver Nuggets to take care of a personal medical issue. Three days later, he had a testicular tumor removed at a Denver hospital. He returned to action on March 27, 2008, in the Nuggets' 118–105 home win over the Dallas Mavericks. Nenê entered the game with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter to a standing ovation.
In the years after his cancer scare, Nenê, a Christian, said God used cancer to test him and prepare him for helping others. Upon retiring from basketball, Nenê plans to become involved with church activities in Brazil. Nenê is married to wife Lauren Prothe.
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