Zaila Avant-garde combines her basketball, spelling skills on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

Guest-host Phoebe Robinson presented the game 'Bee Ball' to the speller, in which she had to dribble multiple basketballs and spell at the same time

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Zaila Avant-garde continues to impress the world. On a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the Scripps National Spelling Bee champ combined her impressive basketball and spelling skills in a special segment.

With various appearances on daytime and late-night shows, the prodigy is winning acclaim and more fans wherever she goes. In one of her recent appearances, she appeared in a ‘Bee Ball’ segment for Jimmy Kimmel Live! combining her impressive basketball and spelling skills.

Zaila Avant-garde thegrio.com
Zaila Avant-garde attends the 2021 ESPY Awards at Rooftop At Pier 17 on July 10, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Comedian Phoebe Robinson, this week’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! guest host, interviewed the spelling sensation. Then Robinson introduced the segment in which Avant-garde had to dribble basketballs and spell at the same time.

For Avant-garde, of course, it was a breeze. The audience cheered as Avant-garde spelled words like Machiavellian and amaryllis while dribbling up to six basketballs.

The spelling champ even got a surprise video message from comedy legend Bill Murray. She referenced Murray when asking a question about her final word, ‘murraya,’ in the competition.

He presented the final challenge to Avant-garde, in which she had to spell ‘portmanteau’ while balancing on a foam roller and dribbling three balls at once. To no one’s surprise, Avant-garde nailed it.

Zaila Avant-garde, theGrio.com
Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana is covered with confetti as she celebrates winning the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

In her interview, Robinson asked Avant-garde about how she feels about being “America’s spelling sweetheart.” She responded, “Well I don’t really know yet because I’m still just soaking it in…so ask me that in like a month because right now, I don’t really know.”

Robinson also asked Avant-garde what prompted her to think of Murray during the spelling bee.

Robinson asked, “So is your family like big Bill Murray fans?” She explained, “Um, so the only Bill Murray movie that I know of my father watching and watching it with me was Lost in Translation…and that’s how I kind of remembered that word!”

Avant-garde holds three Guinness World Records for basketball. She currently holds the records for the most basketballs dribbled simultaneously, the most basketball bounces in 30 seconds and the most bounce juggles in one minute.

She told Robinson, “I don’t know what’s really going on, I’ve just been working on it since I was five…so I’ve had a lot of time to work my way up to that level.”

Check out the full segment from Jimmy Kimmel Live! below:

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