Vikings rookie Brian Asamoah proud to share Ghanaian heritage with GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Both Adofo-Mensah and Asamoah are of Ghanaian descent and speak Twi fluently.

We are part of The Trust Project.

After Friday’s first practice of a two-day Vikings rookie minicamp, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and rookie linebacker Brian Asamoah chatted on the field for more than five minutes. It wasn’t exactly a typical NFL conversation.

“We were actually speaking African,’’ Asamoah said. “It’s called Twi.”

Twi is a widely spoken language in the West Africa nation of Ghana, which has a population of 31 million. Both Adofo-Mensah and Asamoah are of Ghanaian descent and speak Twi fluently.

“It’s like my first time ever meeting him,’’ said Asamoah, selected in the third round of last month’s draft out of Oklahoma. “It was just cool because you don’t see this ever happening, a general manager from your hometown (the capital city of Accra), being able to speak in a different language with him and just show my appreciation to him for even choosing me.’’

After the Vikings selected Asamoah on April 29, Adofo-Mensah made note of their shared heritage.


“That was a special call for me,’’ said the first-year general manager. “I told him, ‘Did you ever think you’d fulfill your NFL dream with somebody named Kwesi?’ … That was a cool moment for both of us. You talk about the circle of life and all of that stuff.”

When the two first met in person Friday, they hugged. Asamoah said their conversation touched upon the improbability of two people of Ghanaian descent having now joined forces in the NFL.

Fred Zamberletti was head athletic trainer but also a friend and confidante of Minnesota Vikings players and staff from 1961 to 2018.
Minnetonka (Minn.) High School's Jack Liwienski has verbally committed to North Dakota State for football. He is the son of a former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman.
Sacred Heart, New York Mills and Roseau both advanced to Wednesday's semifinals on the diamond.
Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins is entering his 11th NFL season and fifth with the Vikings. He believes that team bonding could play a role in the win-loss record this fall
After being taken with the No. 23 pick in the 2021 draft out of Virginia Tech, the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Darrisaw showed he has the talent to develop into a Pro Bowl-type player.
If both players can stay healthy, Minnesota should have a couple of the best pass rushers in the league.
Last month, the Vikings elected not to pick up the $13.202 million option on Bradbury for the 2023 season, putting him in line to be a free agent in March
After the Vikings hired coach Kevin O’Connell this offseason, McCardell was among the only position coaches retained.
With starter Dalvin Cook, backup Alexander Mattison, third-stringer Kene Nwangwu and fullback C.J. Ham, it remains to be seen what new coach Kevin O’Connell might do to spread the wealth
Though the 24-year-old has the ability to beat people deep, Osborn acknowledged that his big plays are likely going to come via yards after catch

“He was just kind of lacing me up on just how things are going to go and make the most of your opportunity, and I was telling him I appreciate the opportunity and I’m not going to let him down,’’ Asamoah said. “Where we come from, a lot of people don’t make it to this spot specifically, being the general manager or playing football at the highest level. So it’s a level of appreciation on both sides.”

Asamoah, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is the son of Lawrence and Agnes, who were both born in Ghana. Asamoah, 22, has visited Ghana once, going in 2010.

“It was cool,’’ said Asamoah, who plans to return to Ghana next year. “It was an experience. I got to understand the cultural differences between here and America, and how much of an opportunity you have here in America.’’

After starring at St. Francis De Sales High School in Columbus, Asamoah arrived at Oklahoma in 2018. He redshirted as a freshman and then continued to get better in three seasons with the Sooners, including being named to the All-Big 12 second team in 2021.

The Vikings like the range the athletic 6-foot, 226-pound Asamoah has at inside linebacker. With Minnesota starting organized team activities on Tuesday, he expects to fit in well in the 3-4 scheme under new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.

“I’ve seen the opportunity for me to just run sideline to sideline and just really opening up a lot,’’ Asamoah said. “But also being able to just cover tight ends and running backs, Putting me man to man, that’s something I think I do really well.’’


The initial most noticeable thing about Asamoah on the field is his wearing of No. 33, which was star running back Dalvin Cook’s number in his first five seasons before he switched to 4.

Asamoah noted that he wore No. 6 in high school, No. 24 in college, which adds up to six, and now has another number that adds up to six. He has an idea about what fans with old Cook No. 33 jerseys should do.

“I think that people are just going to put tape over it with Asamoah on it,’’ he said with a laugh.

But if the linebacker develops the way the Vikings hope he will, there will be new No. 33 jerseys with Asamoah on the back hanging in local stores.



This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
It was the second time in the past eight days that the Guardians scored four runs in the last inning to shock the first-place Twins
F-M surged for four runs in the third inning
Coming into Wednesday, the veteran has turned in five consecutive scoreless outings spanning 7 1/3 innings
The home crowd saw the loss of two of its most popular players on Day 3 of the Wimbledon Championships