Former Purdue star Robbie Hummel polished up his Spanish enough to get by in his season overseas last winter.

“I picked it up pretty good,” he said. “I took it in high school and middle school so it wasn’t completely foreign to me. I actually could order in a restaurant and even found myself doing some Spanish on the court. That was kind of weird.”

Now the question is, has he improved his game, his health and his language skills enough so the words “Pasame la pelota, Ricky” — pass me the ball, Ricky — roll off his tongue easily?

Hummel is back playing for the Timberwolves’ Las Vegas Summer League team for the second consecutive July. This time, he is hoping to return for October training camp so he can claim the team’s likely lone remaining roster spot, one year after he left home to play for Obradoiro CAB in the Spanish league so he could develop and strengthen his surgically repaired knee and so the Wolves would retain his rights while he did so.

“No, that’s the ultimate goal,” said Hummel, a second-round draft pick by the Wolves last year. “It always has been my dream to play in the NBA. I’m thankful for this opportunity and want to show I belong.”

Hummel once aimed to reach that goal by becoming a first-round pick with a guaranteed contract, a dream that ended at Purdue when he tore the same ACL twice in eight months, the first time in a February game at Williams Arena against the Gophers on his way to an All-America season his junior year.

Now, he has taken an alternate road, which led to Spain and a Spanish League season when he averaged 14 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 games despite needing knee surgery a third time early in the year.

“It’s tough, when you go to Europe you really have to grow up,” Hummel said. “You’re over there by yourself. You don’t know the language. You really have no friends. You learn a lot about yourself and I really feel like I’m better for it.”

Funny as it sounds, he now must prove that there’s room for yet another three-point shooter from the wing after the Wolves added Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger and Corey Brewer in the last week to the NBA’s worst three-point shooting team last season.