Zaila Avant-garde made history when she became the first Black winner of the National Spell Bee. The 14-year-old champion took the stage hoping to inspire other Black kids around the country who tuned in Thursday night. Zaira was calm and confident as they announced her winning word- "Murraya", a tree genus. “I was pretty relaxed on the subject of Murraya and pretty much any other word I got,” Zaila said.
Zaira's talents and achievements extend far beyond spelling. According to AP, not only is she recognized as a basketball prodigy, she currently holds three Guiness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously. “Basketball, I’m not just playing it. I’m really trying to go somewhere with it. Basketball is what I do,” Zaila said. “Spelling is really a side thing I do. It’s like a little hors d’ouevre. But basketball’s like the main dish.”