LSU, Southern University offer full scholarships to spelling bee champion

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 12:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2021 at 6:53 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE (WVUE) -A full scholarship to LSU or Southern University in Baton Rouge awaits 14-year-old spelling bee champion Zaila Avant-garde.

LSU President William F. Tate took to social media Saturday to offer the young winner a full ride while praising her intellectual excellence.

SUBR President Dr. Ray Belton also posted to Twitter offering Zaila a scholarship plus her own ‘#Zaila Day.’

“Our student leaders, faculty, and alumni look forward meeting with you,” Belton said.

Zaila, from Harvey, La., is the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion and the first Louisiana native to win the event.

The 14-year-old correctly spelled the word murraya.


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Avant-garde is also a basketball star as well who has appeared in a commercial with Stephen Curry and owns three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously. She also hopes to play in the WNBA someday.

The New Orleans Saints and Pelicans also offered their congratulations to the Louisiana native.

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