Nenê (born Maybyner Rodney Hilario on September 13, 1982 in São Carlos, Brazil) is a basketball player who plays for the NBA's Denver Nuggets. The 6'11" (2.11 m) Nenê is one of the most athletic big men in the league.
A native of São Carlos, 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 good enough to receive some interest from professional clubs. He did not play basketball until he was 14, but apparently took to the game quickly. His original basketball teacher claims that when he first tried to dunk, he not only dunked the ball, but destroyed the basket.
He first came to international attention at the 2001 Goodwill Games as a member of the Brazilian national team. He also played in the Brazilian club Vasco da Gama. Afterwards, he excelled at the NBA's Chicago predraft camp in 2002; the New York Knicks picked him seventh overall in the 2002 NBA Draft and immediately traded him to the Denver Nuggets.
He began the 2002-03 season on the bench, but ended it as a starter, averaging 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.6 steals, and finishing in the league's top ten in shooting percentage (.516). After the season, he was selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team.
In the 2003 offseason, he legally changed his name to his lifelong nickname of Nenê. This made him just the first player in NBA history to wear a jersey bearing his first and only name
On November 1, 2005, against the San Antonio Spurs, Nenê suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, sprained medial collateral ligament and torn meniscus in his right knee during Denver's first game of the NBA season. Nenê is currently believed to be ahead of schedule in his rehab, and could be practicing again by April 2006.