Nenê is a Brazilian professional basketball player who plays for the NBA's Washington Wizards. Born in São Carlos, Brazil, on September 13, 1982, he received his nickname Nenê (Portuguese for baby) because he was the youngest in both his family and his group of childhood friends. His name at birth was Maybyner Rodney Hilário, but it was legally changed to Nenê in 2003. Like most Brazilian children, he started out playing soccer, and played well enough to receive some interest from professional clubs. He started playing basketball at Escola de Basquete Meneghelli in his hometown.
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. Afterward, he excelled at the NBA's predraft camp in Chicago in 2002; the New York Knicks picked him seventh overall 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.
He began the 2002–03 season on the bench, but ended it as a starter, and finishing in the league's top ten in shooting percentage. After the season, he was selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team.
On November 1, 2005, against the San Antonio Spurs, Nenê suffered a serious knee injury on an awkward fall consisting of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a sprained medial collateral ligament and a torn meniscus in his right knee during Denver's first game of the NBA season. He had played just 3 minutes. In the 2010-11 season, he led all players in field goal percentage with nearly 62%.
Nenê re-signed with the Nuggets on December 14, 2011, signing a five-year contract with the team worth up to $67 million.
On March 15, 2012, Nenê was traded to the Washington Wizards in a three-way trade involving the Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers. JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf went from the Wizards to the Nuggets, and Nick Young went from the Wizards to the Clippers. The Wizards also received Brian Cook from the Clippers.