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!
The day was April 15th, 1947. Seventy years ago today, to be exact. It was Opening Day for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the historic Ebbets Field stadium which was conveniently located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. However, this Opening Day was way different than the Dodgers’ previous ones. Today, a young man by the name of Jackie Robinson who wore the number “42” on his jersey would be taking the field as the starting first baseman, batting second. On this day, seventy years ago, Jackie Robinson single-handedly broke the color barrier in Major League Sports.
Although there were rumors that people would be boycotting the game due to their disapproval of Robinson’s integration, the game actually went very well. The Dodgers would go on to win 5-3 against the Boston Braves (now known as the Atlanta Braves). When Robinson’s number was called on the P.A. system as the Brooklyn Dodgers’ starting first baseman, the crowd applauded “politely” according to sports editor Ed Silverman who was at Ebbets Field on this historic day in 1947 to witness history. In a new article for The New Yorker which commemorates the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Ed Silverman revisits April 15th, 1947 and talks about what the day was like:
“I deliberately sat in the bleachers, which were predominantly filled with black attendees. The women were all well coifed. Many wore lovely dresses and light coats. The men were all nicely attired. It was more like going to church than to a ballgame.”
Jackie Robinson would go on to have a stellar first season in his Major League Baseball career and became the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. Robinson also served as a Major League Baseball All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954 and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949, becoming the first Black player to do so. All in a day’s work for a legendary sports giant like Mr. Robinson. All in a day’s work!
Check out some cool footage via MLB.com of Jackie Robinson’s opening day, here.
“I’m the question and the answer like Iverson.” – Jay-Z, “A Million and One Questions (Remix)”
The young man from Newport News, Virginia is finally getting all the accolades that he deserves! Congratulations to Allen Iverson on being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame today. “Bubba Chuck” is what they call him!
On this day in history, forty-eight years ago to be exact, the imcomparable Arthur Ashe won the first U.S. Open title as an amateur athlete. On this day, Arthur Ashe set the bar for all the tennis greats (both male and female) to come. What a brave athlete and man. Salute to a hero and a legend on and off the tennis court!
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