Spelling Bee Champ Zaila Avant-garde Offered Full Scholarship to LSU

By Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
July 11, 2021 Updated: July 13, 2021

By Joseph Wilkinson
From New York Daily News

From bee to tiger?

National Spelling Bee winner Zaila Avant-garde was offered a full scholarship to LSU on Saturday.

University president William Tate tweeted the offer to 14-year-old Zaila, who lives in the New Orleans suburb of Harvey just 90 minutes down the road from Baton Rouge and became the first black American Spelling Bee champ on Thursday.

“Your academic performance reflected scholarship first! You modeled intellectual excellence. (LSU’s Honors College) awaits,” Tate wrote.

Tate has promised to put “scholarship first” since taking over as LSU’s president earlier this summer, but Zaila has plenty of athletic skills too. She holds three Guinness World Records for her basketball dribbling talent and wants to play in the WNBA.

Of course, Zaila could bring her talents to both Ogden Honors College and the Tigers’ women’s basketball program, which is hoping for improvement after missing the past two NCAA tournaments. The Tigers hired coach Kim Mulkey, a three-time national champion at Baylor, this summer.

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Tribune News Service
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