Althea Gibson to be Honored with Statue by USTA

Nearly 60 years since her last Grand Slam win, tennis star Althea Gibson will be honored by the United States Tennis Association with a statue at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, NY. Billie Jean King has been pushing for a statue to honor Gibson for decades, and she finally got the opportunity to with the help of USTA President Katrina Adams. The USTA voted unanimously for the statue at its December board meeting.

Gibson is legendary in the world of tennis. She was the first African-American to compete in the U.S. National Championships, the first African-American to compete at Wimbledon, the first African-Amrican to win a Grand Slam title, and even was honored with a ticker tape parade where she received a Bronze Medallion from the Mayor of New York. Gibson was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in 1957 and 1958, the two years she was ranked first in the world among women in her sport. She was also the first African American woman to appear on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Time magazines.

In 1980, Gibson became one of the first six inductees into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991, she became the first woman to receive the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the highest honor from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Sadly, Gibson passed in 2003, but her legacy lives on.

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