The word EXTRAORDINARY is simply amazing and when you look it up in the dictionary, don’t be surprised if you see a picture of Zaila Avant next to it.
At the age of 14, Zaila recently became the first African-American and the first from Louisiana to receive the top honors from the 96-year-old Scripps spelling bee.
Zaila did well in the preliminaries with the words “Retene” , “Ancistroid” and “Depreter”.
After a request for clarification – “Does this word contain the English name Murray, which could be the name of a comedian?” – he called the title and pulled out the seven letters of the word “murraya” (defined as “a genus of tropical Asian and Australian trees with pinnate leaves and flowers with reversed petals”) in the correct order. The win is certainly a great achievement, but what makes Zaila’s achievement even more extraordinary is that she has just switched to a spelling tournament.
In 2019 she placed 370th in the Scripps competition. Not bad for her first appearance, but Zaila is determined to do better.
In short, the homeschooled teen began an intensive exercise program that includes targeted classes and curriculum.
“For spelling, I usually try to do about 13,000 words (per day), and that usually takes about seven hours or so,” Zaila told the Associated Press. “We don’t let it go way too overboard, of course. I’ve got school and basketball to do.”
“Actually, spelling is just one of these wonders. In addition to her vocabulary, Zaila already holds three Guinness world records for basketball, has appeared on television with NBA basketball superstar Steph Curry and has over 77,000 followers on Instagram.
Despite her impressive list of interests, Zaila’s engaging approach to spelling is sure to pay off. As the photos of her enthusiastic reaction show, she was delighted with the win. “I feel so happy to be a winner just because I worked on it for about two years and then I finally did it and the best result was great,” Zaila said.
Although she has focused on a Harvard degree with a possible career path in NASA or the NBA since the Scripps degree, Zaila has been offered a full-time college scholarships to three universities in Louisiana.
On Twitter, she also received shouts of congratulations from former President Barack Obama.
Three Guinness World Records and now a National Spelling Master! Congratulations, Zaila – your hard work paid off. We are all proud of you.
Watch the winning moment below.