A 14-year-old girl from Harvey, Louisiana has been crowned the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and it's a big deal.
Zaila Avant-garde made history on Thursday, July 8 after becoming the first African American winner and second Black champion of the nationally renowned spelling competition.
The first Black winner was Jody-Anne Maxwell, a 12-year-old from Jamaica who won the National Spelling Bee in 1998.
Avant-garde, who has only been in the competitive spelling game for about two years, clinched her victory by correctly spelling the word "Murraya." Avant-garde broke records by being the first African American winner in the entirety of the 96-year-old competition.
Watch the video here:
Zaila Avant-garde, a 14-year-old from New Orleans, won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night by cor… https://t.co/wbcqeBBfN5— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin) 1625796848.0
Avant-garde's Scripps win is only the latest title in her collection, however. As it turns out, she actually already holds three separate titles in the Guinness Book of World Records.
When not practicing her spelling or doing her homeschooled lessons, Avant-garde practices basketball. This is where she began making history.
Avant-garde currently holds world records for the most basketballs dribbled at once (six), the most basketball bounces (307 in 30 seconds), and the most bounce juggles in one minute (four).
But that's not all.
Avant-garde can also speed read at an incredibly fast pace and is a mathematics whiz who can divide five-digit numbers by two-digit numbers in her head.
She's also very skilled on the pogo stick.
Avant-garde hopes her Scripps win will inspire other African Americans to get into competitive spelling.
"I'm hoping that in a few years I'll see a whole lot more African American females, and males too, are doing well in the Scripps Spelling Bee."
"You don't really see too many African Americans doing too well at spelling bees, and that's a bit sad, because it's like a really good thing. It's a good gate opener to being interested in education."
Needless to say, her fanbase is growing quickly—with some pretty famous folks in there.
Yes, Zaila! We are so, so proud of you! 👏🏾 https://t.co/rp0gI4B5BE— Michelle Obama (@Michelle Obama) 1625837761.0
Congratulations, Zaila! We’re all so proud of you. I have a feeling this isn’t the last time you’ll be making histo… https://t.co/RCKKYMVRTr— President Biden (@President Biden) 1625860696.0
keep changing the game Zaila!!!!! https://t.co/rJeUNa4pKI— Stephen Curry (@Stephen Curry) 1625843645.0
C-o-n-g-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s Zaila Avant-garde. But I’m sure that would be easy for you to spell. Well done! https://t.co/LJoxB4DKtS— Dan Rather (@Dan Rather) 1625864511.0
Zaila Avant-garde appreciation post! 🏆 The first @ScrippsBee champion from Louisiana 🙌 https://t.co/f4IdykVnax— New Orleans Saints (@New Orleans Saints) 1625835601.0
Everyone is looking to see what feat Avant-garde accomplishes next.
14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde is the 93rd Scripps National #SpellingBee champion. She’s also an elite middle-schoo… https://t.co/0VCeCcVVxg— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1625835296.0
@HayesBrown @susanicox She has exceptional focus and a high IQ. She will grow up to be a fine person who can do any… https://t.co/VWvoGHM6wL— Autumn 🎶 (@Autumn 🎶) 1625806006.0
Middle school hoop highlights of Zaila Avant-garde, the first African American to win the Scripps National Spelling… https://t.co/qcp3AFP3Wc— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife.com) 1625834223.0
Zaila of house Avant-garde. First of her name. Phonetic phenom. Viscountess of Vocabulary. Bouncer of Basketball… https://t.co/KClcwqUsfq— Luvvie is the #ProfessionalTroublemaker (@Luvvie is the #ProfessionalTroublemaker) 1625860768.0
She can SPELL and she can HOOP 🤯 Her name is Zaila Avant-garde Shoutout to Zaila for becoming the first African Am… https://t.co/v9IeU3G2MD— WNBA (@WNBA) 1625842676.0
She can ball out too, Zaila holds 3⃣ Guinness World Records for dribbling multiple basketballs YOU GO ZAILA 👏 (📽️… https://t.co/LkelZsqGKt— WNBA (@WNBA) 1625843076.0
Zaila isn’t just the first winner from Louisiana, but the first Black American winner too — as well as an accomplis… https://t.co/00x6ORqfzS— Women's March (@Women's March) 1625881380.0
Zaila Avant-garde says basketball is her main passion 🔥 Last night, she became the first African American Scripps… https://t.co/Q5AtIY7G06— Bleacher Report (@Bleacher Report) 1625855783.0
Avant-garde has big plans for the future.
She wants to play basketball at Harvard, go on to the WNBA and maybe even work for NASA one day.