The governor hailed her inclusion in the Africa team at the second edition of the NBA Global Basketball Championship in Florida, U.S.
Okowa’s commendation was conveyed in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olise Ifeajika, on Saturday in Asaba.
He noted that the 13-year-old Atebe-Innocent, who hails from Oyede in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta was among the Africans that participated in the junior world tournament between Aug. 6 and Aug. 12.
He said although they lost at the semi finals to the Latin America side we commend her for making Nigeria and Africa proud.
He said that the state government would continue to support the youth to excel in sports in order to curb crime in the society.
“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 36-44 loss to the 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,” Okowa said.
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.