Tim Waale – the captain of professional basketball club Saigon Heat – recently discussed his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account.
Waale, also known as Dinh Khai Tam, answered a fan’s question about why he was unable to speak Vietnamese fluently despite growing up in Vietnam.
He has a Vietnamese mother and a Danish father. He lived in Vietnam before relocating to Denmark when he was in high school.
“I went to international schools when I was a kid and only spoke English,” Waale explained.
“I also talked to my parents in English at home.
“My mother tried to teach me Vietnamese, but I was too lazy to learn.”
The 24-year-old player said he later regretted it when he was unable to communicate with his grandparents when visiting them in northern Thai Nguyen Province during the Lunar New Year holiday.
“Even though I was never able to talk to my grandmother again after she passed away, I was determined to learn Vietnamese," he said.
|Tim Waale shares his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account. Photo: VBA|
Tuan Anh, the fan who asked Waale the question, thanked the player for his answer, saying that it is never too late to learn something.
“I really hope that you will be in the Vietnamese national basketball team one day. Good luck, Tim.”
Another fan said he will communicate with Waale in Vietnamese more often to help him practice.
Waale has participated in the VBA pro basketball league since its first season in 2016.
The 1.93-meter-tall player and other members of Saigon Heat won the championship title in three consecutive seasons in 2019, 2020, and 2022.
He is widely considered one of the best athletes in the league and won the Block of the Year title at the VBA 2022.