Delta state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has congratulated Delta born Nigerian basketball star, Merit Atebe-Innocent, on her inclusion in the Africa team at the second edition of the NBA Global Basketball Championship in Florida, United States of America.
The Africans participated in the junior world tournament which held between Aug. 6 and Aug. 12, and lost at the semi-finals to the Latin America side.
Governor Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba, commended 13-year-old Atebe-Innocent who hails from Oyede in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta, for making Nigeria and Africa proud.
He said that the state government would continue to support youths to excel in sports in order to curb crime in the society.
According to him, “On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate an illustrious daughter of the State, Miss Merit Atebe-Innocent, on her inclusion in the Africa team that participated at the second edition of NBA Global Basketball Championship in Orlando, Florida.
“Her exploits in the tournament justified her inclusion and we are glad that she lived up to expectation by adding seven points and 10 rebounds in the African team’s semi-final 44-36 loss to their Latin American girls.
“As a leading state in sports, it is a thing of joy that a Deltan was among the four selected from Nigeria to represent Africa in the global championship.
“As we build on our Stronger Delta vision, we will continue to encourage our youths to take to sports as a means of livelihood and as a way out of vices, poverty and unemployment,” he said.
Miss Atebe-Innocent plays basketball for St. Jude Secondary School, Yenagoa, Bayelsa, where she is a student.
Atebe-Innocent and Bisola Badmus were the Nigerians in the African girls’ team at the tournament while Hassan Amer and Emmanuel Owonibi made the boys team.