Raised in Senegal and now pursuing his professional life in America, Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng speaks five languages, and another one that Rick Adelman and any other coach understands.

During rookie karaoke night at training camp in Mankato last week, he stood on a chair and sang Happy Birthday to head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam in English, French and his native Wolof without ever demonstrating his knowledge of either Italian or Spanish.

During preseason games against Toronto and Milwaukee this week, he showed, even given his rookie status and late start in the game, he’s fluent in basketball.

“He’s a smart player,” Adelman said. “It doesn’t take long watching him to see that he knows how to play.”

Dieng is just 23 and didn’t seriously start playing the game until he was a teenager, but maybe there’s a reason his given name means “old man” in his native language.

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune