On July 8, 2021, 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde made history when she correctly spelled the word “murraya” to become the first Black American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the nearly 100-year history of the contest. The New York Times reported:
The last word, after hundreds of competitors fell to some of the dictionary’s worst verbal terrors, was murraya.
When Zaila Avant-garde, 14, spelled it correctly on Thursday night, she put her hands to her head, beamed and twirled, her arms outstretched and confetti raining across the stage.
Zaila, 14, an eighth grader from near New Orleans, had just won the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee, becoming the first Black American student to take the cup after 10 other finalists stumbled in the competition’s final rounds.
Here’s a video from the final moments of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee:
While Avant-garde made headlines in July 2021 for her spelling talents, social media users soon found out that spelling was not this 14-year-old’s only talent. In fact, spelling is not even her “main” talent.
Avant-garde told The Associated Press:
“Basketball, I’m not just playing it. I’m really trying to go somewhere with it. Basketball is what I do. Spelling is really a side thing I do. It’s like a little hors d’oeuvre. But basketball’s like the main dish.”
In 2018, Under Armour released a commercial for the Curry 5 basketball shoe. The spot features Curry talking about a criticism that is often levied against him: That he’s too talented and is ruining the game. As Curry talks, another talented individual, Avant-garde, shows up on screen showcasing her dribbling talents.
Avant-garde shared this video to her Instagram page:
Avant-garde posted a few additional images from the shoot, including one of her and Curry:
A longer version of this commercial is available via Under Armour’s Youtube page: