LSU & LCTCS offers Spelling Bee champ scholarship


Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana reacts after correctly spelling a word during the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRProud) – LSU’s new President is trying to keep Scripps National Spelling Bee champ in the state.

On Saturday, Dr. William Tate offered Zaila Avant-garde a full scholarship Saturday to attend LSU.

The 14-year-old Harvey, La native is the first Black winner of the bee and only the second Black champion in the bee’s 96-year-history.

On Friday, Zaila was also offered a full scholarship to attend any one of Louisiana community and technical colleges.

Zaila has described spelling as a side hobby, although she routinely practiced for seven hours a day. She is a basketball prodigy who hopes to play in the WNBA and holds three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously. 

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