Basketball Star Zaila Avant-Garde Is The First African American To Win The National Spelling Bee

And the winner is…

The culture is jumping for joy now that Zaila Avant-garde has been crowned the winner of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

She made history last night as the first African American to win in 93 editions of the competition.

Avant-garde clinched the title after she navigated her way through words like querimonious, solidungulate, and Nepeta- which she said was the hardest word to spell in the competition.

Once she spelled “Murraya” — a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees — the 14-year-old beamed and twirled with joy as she was announced the winner.

“I was pretty relaxed on the subject of Murraya and pretty much any other word I got,” said Avant-garde after the competition.

Baby girl is a winner across the board. She is also the title-holder of not just one, but three Guinness World Records for her ability to dribble multiple basketballs at a time.

Not to mention that ESPN reports that Avant-garde has been named one of the best 8th-grade girls basketball players in the country.

“I kind of thought I would never be into spelling again, but I’m also happy that I’m going to make a clean break from it,” she continued. “I can go out, like my Guinness world records, just leave it right there and walk off.”

For Avant-garde, spelling is just a side hobby. She has dreams of playing in the WNBA and ultimately being a coach for the league.

The Lousiana native practiced seven hours a day to make it to the competition and it looks like all of her hard work paid off.

“It felt really good to win because I have been working on it for like two years. So to actually win the whole thing was like a dream come true,” she told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday. “I felt like in the moment I snapped out of a surreal dream.”

As the champion, Avant-garde will receive a $50,000 cash prize.

Congratulations to our very own “Akeelah” (if you’ve seen ‘Akeelah and The Bee’ you know what we mean), Zaila Avant-garde.



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