Before this week, Zaila Avant-garde was best known for holding several basketball world records. Now she is also the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, the first African-American to take the title.
Her winning word was Murraya, a genus of plants. Via Reuters:
Avant-garde, from New Orleans, is the first Black contestant to win since Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998. The winner is also an accomplished basketball player, with several Guinness World Records to her name for dribbling multiple basketballs at a time.
Avant-garde claimed the $50,000 top prize after appearing relaxed and bantering with the judges and moderators, despite her struggle with ‘Nepeta,’ a word for another plant genus.
And just to show how fancy she is, here she is doing some crazy tricks:
Image: YouTube / Reuters