BERLIN (AP)  German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Dirk Nowitzki on winning the MVP in the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA finals triumph.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday that Merkel wrote to Nowitzki to laud him for being “the first German to fulfill this great dream.”

Merkel praised the Bavarian’s “industriousness, perseverance and outstanding performance.”

Nowitzki overcame a finger injury, illness and smothering defense from the Miami Heat to win his and the Mavericks’ their first NBA title.

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