Scripps Spelling Bee champ Zaila Avant-garde is also a basketball star


Meet your Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, Zaila Avant-garde.

She’s a 14-year-old from New Orleans and she’s also the first Black student to ever win the national spelling bee, which is amazing on its own.

Avant-garde won the competition by spelling the word “Murraya,” which is a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees. She was so amazing made history. That’s pretty cool.

But when she’s not spelling and just being an overall genius? She’s just out here giving other 14-year-olds buckets. Avant-garde is apparently an amazing basketball player, y’all.

Just look at this layup package. Wow.

🏆🏆🏆 6th & 7th grade #Highlights. Wait ’till you see her now , ⚡️💨🤯#waayyybetter. Been working like usual. [For more extensive highlights check out her Instagram page: @basketballasart]. 🖖🏀

— Zaila Avant-garde (@Basketballasart) October 19, 2020

And the jumpshot. Man. The jumpshot.

Look, Zaila Avant-garde only won the Spelling Bee so you all would have no doubt she can spell bucket.

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) July 9, 2021

She also has 3 (!!!!) Guinness World Records for the most basketballs dribbled at once (six), most basketball bounces (307 in 30 seconds) and the most bounce juggling in one minute (255 with four basketballs), per the New York Times.

Here she is just…dribbling everything. Oh, while riding a unicycle.

Zaila Avant-garde ♥️

— L A W (@SupremeStreet) July 9, 2021

Just incredible. Fans were in awe by how talented she is from basketball to now being the world’s best speller.

Wait, her name is Zalia Avant-garde and she just won the Scripps spelling bee and she’s a champion juggler, basketball player, and unicycle rider? I think we just found our next Dr. Who.

— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) July 9, 2021

Oh…and on top of being a spelling and juggling prodigy, and a Guinness World Records holder she has an obscene step back jumper, too….Good Lord. Zalia Avant-garde is not of THIS world….

— Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29) July 9, 2021

There’s a Black girl from New Orleans named ZAILA AVANT GARDE currently competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee today and no one talk to me about anything else.

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) July 9, 2021

Spelling Bee winner 2021, basketball prodigy AND holder of 3 Guinness World records at 14. Like how is that even possible from. Also….that spin of joy 😭♥️…..and show me a name cooler than Zalia Avant Garde.

— tararoonies (@tararoonies) July 9, 2021

That twirl, though! I felt her sprinkling all of her magic. Congratulations, Zalia Avant-Garde!!! You are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

— Kerri-Ann Williams (@Williams_KAC) July 9, 2021

Scripps National #SpellingBee champion Zaila Avant-garde CAN HOOP TOO 👀👀👀👀

She’s 13.

— Greydy (@GreydyDiaz) July 9, 2021

Zaila Avant-garde: 3x Guinness World Record-holder, a top-rated basketball prospect & the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Oh, yea her side gig is the spelling bee! Now that’s a flex 🎉✌️🏿

— Lulu Jayne Paige (@MissLuluPaige) July 9, 2021

Just imagine being this talented. Wow. What a gem she is.

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