On September 28th, 2022, Cabrini University honored its 2019 alumna, the multi-sport athlete Fredia Gibbs, with the dedication of her bronze statue at the Reflection Pond next to the Thomas P. Nerney Pavilion. It is one of the first sculptures of an African-American woman in Pennsylvania (the first honored Ora Washington) and one of the few in the US dedicated to a woman athlete.
Fredia Gibbs was born and raised in 1963 in Chester’s Fairgrounds projects in Pennsylvania. From a young age, Gibbs excelled in sports, receiving the nickname “The Cheetah” for her track capabilities. Due to bullying at school, she learned and practiced martial arts at her uncle’s studio. Gibbs received athletic scholarships in Basketball for high school and then for Cabrini University and almost made it to the US women’s national basketball team for the Olympics. At Cabrini, she set several records that still hold, including the three highest single-season totals for points.
While playing professional Basketball, Gibbs won three Tae Kwon Do world championships (1986-1988), with the last World Championship against an undefeated champion from Puerto Rico.
After coming back from playing professional Basketball in Europe, in 1990, Gibbs moved to California and focused on kickboxing, winning almost every kickboxing fight she had. In the 1994 ISKA World Championship, Gibbs beat Valerie Henin, the Most Dangerous Woman in the World; she became the first African American female to hold the world kickboxing championship for the International Sport Karate Association. Between 1999 and 2003, Gibbs played professional boxing.
Since then, Gibbs has worked as a trainer, motivational speaker, actress, author, and radio host.
Doylestown sculptor Jennifer Frudakis-Petry sculpted Gibbs’s statue, designing it based on a photo from an article that referred to Gibbs as “The Most Dangerous Woman in the World.”
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