Guinness World Records Basketball star and Spelling Bee champ!
Zaila Avant-garde rewrote a 96 year history recently as the first African champion to win the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The multi talented champ who is also a basketball player with three Guinness World Records in dribbling spelled “murraya” correctly to win the competition.
An excited Avant-garde, who tied for 370th place in the 2019 competition, credited the win to her tutors and “a bit of luck.” “It felt really good to be a winner” she said.
In a chat with ABC’s “Good Morning America” Zalia said she hopes her historic win will inspire other young Black people in the United States to excel at spelling.
“I’m hoping that in a few years I’ll see a whole lot more African American females, and males too, doing well in the Scripps Spelling Bee,” said Avant-garde, who is also the first winner from the state of Louisiana. “You don’t really see too many African Americans doing too well in spelling bees and that’s a bit sad, because it’s a really good thing … and kind of is a gate-opener to be interested in education.”
Barack Obama also congratulated Avant-garde in a tweet: “Three Guinness World Records and now the national spelling bee champ! Congrats, Zaila—your hard work is paying off. We’re all proud of you.”
Meanwhile scholarship offers have seen began pouring. So far she has received three full ride scholarships.