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Zaila Avant Garde

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Zaila Avant-garde is amulti-talented powerhouse, with success springing from all her endeavours -and all before the ninth grade. Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, she won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee, making her the first African-American to win in almost 100 years of the competition. Avant-garde landed on her winning word, murraya –a type of…

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Zaila Avant-garde is amulti-talented powerhouse, with success springing from all her endeavours -and all before the ninth grade. Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, she won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee, making her the first African-American to win in almost 100 years of the competition. Avant-garde landed on her winning word, murraya –a type of tree –by associating the word with famous comedian Bill Murray, who surprised her by phoning in during her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Avant-garde’s spelling triumph is just one entry on a very impressive resume. Along with competing in spelling bees for two years, Avant-garde holds three Guinness World Records for her basketball prowess. She holds the records for the most bounce juggles in one minute with four basketballs, the most basketball bounces in 30 seconds with four basketballs, and ties of the record for most basketballs dribbled at once.

Her success has been celebrated by the likes of Barack and Michelle Obama, LeBron James, and Dr Jill Biden, who attended the bee.

Avant-garde’s aspirations continue to grow: she hopes to one day play basketball at Harvard before a career at NASA or in the NBA.

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    2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals Winning Moment

    Basketball & Spelling Phenom Zaila Avant-garde Wows Us Again & Gets Surprise from Bill Murray!

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