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Zaila Avant-Garde becomes first African-American spelling bee champ

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Sky News

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On July 8, 14-year-old Zaila Avant-Garde became the first African American Scripps Spelling Bee Champion. 

The National Spelling Bee is a competition that consists of over 200 children between the ages of 9-15. 

During the 93rd Scripps championship, she was able to spell words such as “Nepeta.” But it was her spelling of the word “Murraya” that won the title. 

This basketball player only started competing in tournaments two years ago; she even mentioned feeling excellent to win to CNN. 

“I have been working on it for like two years. So to actually win the whole thing was like a dream come true,” said Avante-Garde. 

Along with winning, she obtained $50,000 for her prize money at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

However, breaking records isn’t new to her, for she has also broken three Guinness world records. Those include: 

● Most balls juggled in one minute with four basketball 

● Most dribbles in 30 seconds with four basketballs 

● Most basketballs dribbled by one person simultaneously (6) 

Avant-Garde has mentioned it’s only up from here. Within the next two years, one of her big goals is to be on the 2022 USA Basketball under-16 national team. 

Not only does she want to be on a national team, but she wants to play basketball at Harvard. She also wants to coach for the NBA, including working for NASA! Everyone can not wait to see what this 14-year-old does with her future.