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Olympic champ Monday honored with high school basketball court named in his honor

Kenny Monday and Coleman Scott coaching Tony Ramos (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

Two-time Olympic medal-winning wrestler. Three-time NCAA All-American for Oklahoma State. Four-time Oklahoma high school state champ. National Wrestling Hall of Fame honoree.

Now Kenny Monday has added to his impressive list of honors, as his name is now gracing the gym floor of his high school alma mater in Tulsa, Okla., along with fellow Booker T. Washington alum -- and Olympic gold medalist in basketball -- Waymon Tisdale.

The floor at the Nathan E. Harris Field House at Booker T. Washington High School now bears its official new name, the Monday/Tisdale Court.

"Those two individuals had a great athletic impact at Booker T. and nationally," Tulsa Public Schools athletic director Gil Cloud said Wednesday. "It's amazing that it took eight years for this to happen, but we wanted to make sure we got this done."

As for Cloud's reference to "eight years" ... here's how the Tulsa World described the history of the effort to name the basketball court after the two Olympic gold medalist alums from Booker T. Washington High:

"The court was supposed to have been named for Monday and Tisdale when the Harris Field House officially opened in 2012. But that winter the TPS athletic department was in turmoil until Cloud became athletic director on Feb. 7 -- three days before the facility's first game. Cloud was not aware of the naming plans when he was hired."

Kenneth Dale "Kenny" Monday was born in Tulsa on November 25, 1961. Monday was a 1980 graduate of Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High, where he won four Oklahoma state mat titles in four different weight classes, while complying a near-perfect 140-0-1 prep record.

Monday then headed west to Stillwater to wrestle at Oklahoma State, where he wrestled at 150 pounds. He was a three-time NCAA All-American, twice as a runner-up, winning the title at the 1984 NCAAs. As a Cowboy, Monday compiled an impressive 121-12-2 overall record. He graduated from Oklahoma State in 1984.

In addition to his folkstyle wrestling success, Kenny Monday made a name for himself in international freestyle competition. He won the gold medal at 163 pounds at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, becoming the first African-American wrestler to earn Olympic gold. Four years later, Monday brought home a silver at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona ... then placed sixth at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Other world-class victories included the 1988 Tblisi Tournament, the 1989 World Championships, the 1991 Pan American Games and the President's Cup in Turkey, the 1992 Roger Coulon in France and the 1996 Dan Kolov Tournament in Bulgaria.

With all these mat honors, Kenny Monday is currently one of four American wrestlers who have won the Junior Nationals, NCAA Championships, World Championships, and Olympic Games.

For these accomplishments, Monday was welcomed as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. in 2001.

Monday now coaches at the Tar Heel Wrestling Club at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

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