According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word “Murraya” is defined as a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees (family Rutaceae) having pinnate leaves and flowers with imbricated petals. However, to a young 14-year-old girl from New Orleans, Louisiana by the name of Zaila Avant-garde, the word “Murraya” means a whole lot more than that!
On July 8th, 2021 Zaila Avant-garde made history by becoming the first African-American (Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica was the first Black contestant to win the title in 1998) to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the competition’s 96 year history. The event which was televised live on ESPN on Thursday evening drew a VIP crowd including First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden who was there to witness Avant-garde become a national champion! In addition to her spelling talents, Avant-garde also enjoys playing basketball and holds three Guinness World Records for dribbling the most basketballs at one time. She’s amazing! With everything going on in the world right now, it’s little victories like these that are so special.
Congrats to Zaila Avant-garde and all the contestants of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. Watch the video of Avante-garde becoming a national champion by spelling the word “Murraya” below. It was the twirl at the end for us! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas is proving to be the MVP of this year’s 2017 NBA Playoffs. Tuesday night, the 5’9″ point guard put up 53 points in a close overtime game against the Washington Wizards to give his team a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Although John Wall’s Washington Wizards put up a good fight against the Celtics, they proved to be no match for Thomas’ overly-aggressive game. The Celtics went on to win 129-119 in overtime on the day that would’ve been Thomas’ sister Chyna’s 23rd birthday. He credited her entirely for his stellar playoff performance. Thomas told ESPN.com:
“It just wasn’t a good day for me with it being my sister’s birthday, me being in the hospital for three or four hours today. I just didn’t have the energy. But once I got around the guys, got to the arena, I felt like I could go. And I told coach Brad Stevens I could. There was no way I couldn’t play on Chyna’s birthday. I wanted to win for her. I wanted to play well for her.”
Definitely a huge night for Isaiah Thomas’ professional career. Watch some footage of Isaiah Thomas going H.A.M. (H.ard A.s a M.otherf*ck%r) during the game and post-game footage via NBA‘s official Twitter account below. Let’s go Boston Celtics!