SÃO CARLOS (Olympics) - Brazil center Nene can be excused if he gets a little emotional on Tuesday night.
For the first time since his boyhood days, the Washington Wizards center will play in his native São Carlos when Brazil's national team takes on New Zealand.
Watching him play will not only be his wife, Lauren, and son Mateos, but excited countrymen who are getting a chance to see the great NBA player Nene play.
"It's a great feeling, a blessing, to play a game with the Brazilian team in my country, San Carlos," Nene said.
"It's been a long time since I played here.
"I still was not professional ... and now I will be here preparing for the Olympics.
"The fans can expect a very warlike and united team, willing to give everything for the country on the court.”
Nene says the games right now are about helping Brazil find their best form.
Fans will not see Brazil in peak rhythm.
"Our focus is to prepare,” Nene said.
“We're still missing a lot, but I'm sure the fans will leave the gym satisfied and hopeful about what we can do in these Olympics."
Brazil coach Ruben Magnano has been driving home the importance to the players to respect the preparations and to pay attention to detail.
"We must bear in mind that the most important thing is preparation, whether in training or games," Magnano said.
"The result in itself, the game is not the most important."
The men's tournament at the Olympics starts on 29 July and Brazil will face Australia.
"On July 29, yes, we have to reach 100% and worry only about winning," he said.
"It's important to play some games in Brazil to feel the warmth of the Brazilian fans and pick up good vibrations."
Vitor Alves Benite, Nezinho and Augusto Cesar Lima impressed for Brazil at the recent South American Championship and have been called into the preliminary squad for the London Games, taking the total number of players to 15.
Also on Tuesday night in São Carlos, Greece will face Nigeria.
On Wednesday, New Zealand take on Greece and Brazil square off against Nigeria.
On Thursday, the Tall Blacks will meet Nigeria and Brazil will go up against Greece.