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Louisville's Dieng overcomes hardship, rewarded for staying with dream

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Louisville's Gorgui Dieng shoots during practice for their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Wichita State, Friday, April 5, 2013, in Atlanta. Louisville plays Wichita State in a semifinal game on Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (The Associated Press)

No one would have blamed Gorgui Dieng if he'd given up his first few months in the United States.

The Senegalese teenager was in a country where he knew no one and didn't speak the language.

But Dieng had come to America with a dream, and it wasn't so easy to let go.

Four years later, the once silent young man is fluent in his new language and attuned to a new culture. Louisville is playing in its second straight Final Four in large part because of its center, and a fat NBA paycheck is likely only a few months away.

The Cardinals play Saturday night against Wichita State for a berth in the national championship game.