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Zaila Avant-garde won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night, becoming the first African-American to win the competition in its 96-year history. Zaila, a 14-year-old from New Orleans, Louisiana will take home a $50,000 cash prize. To win the competition, Zaila spelled the word “murraya,” which according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees (family Rutaceae) having pinnate leaves and flowers with imbricated petals.

Jody-Anne Maxwell, who represented Jamaica in 1998 was the first Black winner in the Spelling Bee History.

Zaila is not only an amazing speller, she’s impressive on the Basketball Court, too. In March 2020, at the age of 13, she broke the Guinness World Record for “most bounce juggles in one minute (with 3 Basketballs)” with 231. She owns two other Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously. Her Instagram, @Basketballasart, details both h her Basketball and spelling bee journey.

In the video detailing her world record, Zaila says she one day would like to become a professional basketball player and join the WNBA along with being an archaeologist.

You go, girl!

Source | CNN



Zaila Avant-garde Becomes First African-American To Win The Scripps National Spelling Bee  was originally published on

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