Nene meets United players, wants to play soccer in the offseason

March 29, 2013

Like most kids in Brazil, Wizards big man Nene grew up playing soccer. He spent last season’s lockout kicking the ball around, and when he came to D.C. last year, he expressed interest in working out with the United squad after the NBA season was over. Unfortunately, injuries last year prevented him from making the trip out to RFK Stadium.

“I feel more close to Brazil [when I play],” Nene told the Denver Post, back when he was still with the Nuggets. “I miss it so much, and my friends live there. But I can come here and play soccer and enjoy it. It’s a sport I love. I grew up playing soccer. And I just get to have some fun.”

Nene has said he still wants to practice with United, and on Monday he got to meet some players, including fellow Brazilian Marcelo Saragosa.

“Wow,” said a genuinely impressed Saragosa, when I told him that Nene had talked about practicing with them. “That’s nice. He’s welcome any time he wants. Any time.”

The folks at Monumental got Monday’s meeting on video. I love the awkwardness of athletes meeting athletes.

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Dan Steinberg · March 29, 2013