Maybe when his basketball career's over, Gorgui Dieng can work his way into the world of international relations.

Respectful, regal, looks good in a suit, knows five different languages -- heck, the newest center to join the Minnesota Timberwolves already looks like he could be Senegal's ambassador to the United States.

But for now, Dieng's focused on a much simpler, albeit less noble, profession.

Blocking shots and dunking basketballs.

"I believe in winning," he bluntly but passionately closed his introductory statement to media and fans with last Friday.

The Timberwolves acquired Dieng in a draft-and-trade exchange with the Utah Jazz, picking him 21st overall. President of basketball operations Flip Saunders set out this offseason in search of a quintessential rim protector, one that could back up Nikola Pekovic (assuming the restricted free agent re-signs) and make the NBA's best slashers think twice before penetrating.

And though Dieng wasn't on anyone's list to land in Minneapolis -- he never worked out with the Timberwolves -- he was on Saunders' radar the entire time.

"He has an NBA skill," Saunders said, "and that skill is he can guard."

Dieng defended well enough in his junior season at Louisville to earn Big East defensive player of the year honors on the way to snagging a national championship ring. Making full use of his 7-4 wingspan, he swatted 267 shots during his career, good for second on the Cardinals' all-time chart, and averaged 2.5 blocks per game last season.