14-Year-Old Zaila Avant-garde is the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee Winner


Zaila Avant-garde, a 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana can now add the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee to her list of accomplishments.

In addition to winning the Spelling Bee title and the first-place prize of $50,000, Zaila is also one of the top 8th-grade basketball players in the country. She holds three Guinness World Records for her ability to dribble multiple basketballs at a time, most bounce juggles in one minute while using four basketballs, and most bounces of four basketballs in 30 seconds.

Now, the 14-year-old proved her victory in the final round of the contest, against a 12-year-old from Frisco, Texas, by correctly spelling the word “Murraya.” This is a genus of flowering plants in the citrus family, Rutaceae. The plants have pinnate leaves and flowers and are distributed in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Australia.



Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Spelling Bee was canceled last year, however, the preliminaries were conducted virtually this year, and those who made it to the finals on Thursday night, appeared on stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, for the first time since the pandemic.

In the process of winning the 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee title, she has become the first African-American and first Louisiana resident to win the title in the competition’s nearly century-long history.

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