Eduardo Alonso Nájera Pérez (born July 11, 1976 in Ciudad Meoqui, Chihuahua, Mexico) is a former Dallas Mavericks player, currently playing forward for the Denver Nuggets. He is known for his rebounding and his tenacity on defense.
Najera is only the third Mexican-born player to join the NBA, and is hugely popular among both Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
Najera played college basketball at the University of Oklahoma from 1997-2000, becoming a major star there. He helped the team to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances during his college career, as well as finishing in the school's all-time top ten in nine statistical categories.
Najera helped Mexico achieve fourth place finishes in the 1999 World Games and World University Games.
He was then traded to the Golden State Warriors, where he put in modest minutes and was a solid contributor.
He was then sent to the Nuggets, where he has flourished despite injuries.
On April 27, 2006, Najera started his first playoff game for the Nuggets in Game 3 of their first round series facing the Los Angeles Clippers. He replaced Kenyon Martin who was suspended indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team".
He was partly involved in the December 2006 Knicks-Nuggets brawl. While not involved in the actual fighting, he did try to separate the players. He was ejected from the game.
Off the court
In 2004, Najera established the Eduardo Najera Foundation for Latino Achievement, which provides college scholarships for outstanding Latino students facing barriers to their educations.
In 2001, Najera served as the United Nations Drug Control Programme Goodwill Ambassador for Sports Against Drugs.
In 2000, Najera received the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame, an award given to a player who has demonstrated personal character both on and off the court.