National Spelling Bee win could be footnote to hoops career

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — One eighth-grader competing in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling bee has earned more recognition for her athletic prowess than for her mastery of the dictionary.

Zaila Avant-garde is a basketball prodigy who holds three Guinness World Records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously.

The 14-year-old from Louisiana hopes to attend Harvard, play in the WNBA and possibly coach one day in the NBA — if she doesn’t go to work for NASA.

Zaila could also make history at the spelling bee by becoming the first Black American champion.

The only previous Black winner was Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998.