Legendary female kickboxer and former student athlete Fredia Gibbs was honored on Cabrini’s campus Wednesday, Sept. 28 with a six-foot bronze statue. Gibbs is a multisport athlete who played for the women’s basketball team during her time at the school.
The Cabrini alumna holds the record for all-time leader in points, assists, and steals while on the women’s basketball team. She also holds multiple single-season records, and was named a Kodak All-American after her 1987 season; she is one of only 10 Division III players to receive the honor.
“We are here to unveil a statue of her in honor of her contributions to track and field and martial arts. She is a phenomenal athlete and a good friend of mine,” James Sims, a childhood friend of Gibbs, said. “It’s about time that she was recognized for her achievements, and I am happy to be here to share it with her and to be a part of it.”
In addition to her basketball career, Gibbs, nicknamed, “The Cheetah,” and “The Most Dangerous Woman in the World” is a kickboxing world champion. She began her kickboxing career with eight straight victories, including the 1994 International Sport Karate Association World Super Lightweight championship, making her the first African American woman ever to hold an ISKA world title. The Cabrini alumna went on to win the World Kickboxing Association and WCK MuayThai world title.
“She’s such an inspiration and she’s the only female athlete with a sculpture in Pennsylvania,” said Jennifer Frudakis-Petry who designed and created the statue of Gibbs. The work is also the only statue of a female martial artist on the planet.
The ceremony took place Wednesday afternoon inside the Dixon Center and included guest speakers from the Sports Legends of Delaware County Museum and Quietstorm Martial Arts.
Many of Gibbs’ friends, family, and colleagues came out for this event.
“Fredia is one of my best friends, and we lived right across the street from each other,” Jonathan Wright, a close friend of Gibbs, said. “The feeling is indescribable because we are talking about Fredia, the most dangerous woman in the world, ‘The Cheetah,’ so I get emotional just thinking about her getting the things she deserves.”
Even though Cabrini’s current athletics and recreation director Kate Corcoran did not work at Cabrini at the same time as Gibbs attended, she gave her high praise. “She credits Cabrini with really saving her life coming out of Chester and being a part of her story, so it’s really an honor to be able to celebrate her here today,” Corcoran said.
Before the event was moved outside for the official revealing, guests were treated to a performance by the West Powelton Drummers, the official drumline for the Philadelphia 76ers. The drumline led the crowd to the reflection pool, where the statue sat, covered by a tarp.
During the outdoor unveiling, Gibbs was presented with a ceremonial Harlem Globetrotters basketball from Globetrotter coach Chris Franklin, and a championship belt from Official Celebrity Boxing CEO Damon Feldman.
“There are so many ways that she is so multifaceted, more than kickboxing, martial arts, Muay Thai, karate, and also basketball,” said Chantelle Richardson, Gibbs’ marketing coordinator. “It’s nice to come back to not only celebrate her other accomplishments, but of course being an alumna, not just of Cabrini, but the Cavaliers as well.”
Gibbs took time after the ceremony to take pictures with fans and answer questions.
“I went through a lot of adversity, but guess what? I still wind up on top with a six-foot bronze statue of myself on the campus I graduated from,” Gibbs told reporters. “Cabrini is my home and I’m a Cavalier for life.”
Gibbs had advice for student athletes: “The advice that I would give them is, as a fighter, everyone that you fight is not your enemy. And everyone who helps you is not your friend.”
You can visit the statue at the reflection pool right outside the Dixon center.
1 thought on “Kickboxer Fredia Gibbs gets Cabrini monument”
Hey Joe, great article on Gibbs .
Fredia Gibbs is a World Champion Kickboxer respect her title she’s not just a Kickboxer as u call her . There’s a BIG difference between Kickboxer & World Champion Kickboxer! In fact she’s a Grand Master in the fight world respect to the Queens Title. Ous!
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