The Washington Wizards were eliminated from the playoffs last week at the hands of the Indiana Pacers, but that doesn’t mean big man Nene Hilario (better known as simply Nene) is done with basketball until next season starts.
According to the Washington Post’s Michael Lee, Nene will be playing for Brazil in the 2014 FIBA World Cup taking place in Spain this summer. After skipping out on the FIBA Americas Tournament last summer in order to get healthy, Nene faced the scorn of many people in his native Brazil who did not appreciate his lack of devotion to the Brazilian national team.
This go around, however, Nene will in fact be playing for them, as he believes it is the right thing to do.
“I have a responsibility and until God tell me to stop – and I know one day, he will say that – I can’t change my plan,” said Nene. “I have responsibility. I have a lot of children who look for me, so I need to do the right thing.”
As a less than durable player, injury will once again be a concern for both the Wizards organization and Nene himself.
“There is a lot of physical, a lot of pound, you never know how your body is going to feel tomorrow, but you always try to do your best,” Nene said. “Injuries are part of this business in this position. Sometimes they say, ‘Man, you been injured a lot.’ For sure, it’s a shock. It’s a shock sport. Some things happen.”
This is surely a difficult dilemma for Nene, as he knows the risk of playing basketball non-stop, but also wants to please the people in his home country. Hopefully he’s able to compete at a high level and stay on the court–both for Brazil and the Wizards next season.