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New tennis complex honors trailblazer Gibson


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Tennis players in Wilmington can now fine tune their skills and honor the legacy of a tennis legend. City leaders cut the ribbon this morning to celebrate the opening of the new Althea Gibson Tennis Complex at Empie Park.

Gibson, who graduated from Williston High, is known for breaking the color barrier in competitive tennis by being the first African-American to win Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open.

Gibson's cousin Don Felder spoke at the ceremony, expressing the family's gratitude to the city for honoring Althea.

"Today a lot of our young people have no idea who Althea Gibson was or her accomplishments," Felder said. "You've sent a clear message that she is somebody."

The complex features ten new tennis courts with lights along with a 1,500-square-foot clubhouse that will feature a painting of Gibson, who was inducted posthumously to the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

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