Zaila Avant-Garde Becomes First African-American To Win Scripps National Spelling Bee

Last night, a young woman from Louisiana made history. 13-year-old Zaila Avant-garde won the 93rd Scripps Spelling Bee, making her the first African-American in history to do so. Zaila spelled the word “Murraya”, a small tree native to Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Zaila isn’t just a spelling bee champion either. Zaila is a very talented basketball player who holds not one, not two, but three Guinness World Records. She set the record for most basketballs dribbles simultaneously (6), the most basketball bounces in 30 seconds (307), and the most bounce juggles in one minute (255 with 4 basketballs).

Zaila plans on being an NBA basketball coach, working in Neuroscience, Gene editing, or working for NASA when she grows up. She also is interested in attending Harvard University.