last night on late night

Zaila Avant-garde Can Also Dribble While Spelling, You Losers

Zaila Avant-garde, the 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee champ who can also dribble multiple basketballs at a time (at a Guinness World Record–holding level, no less!) wowed guest host Phoebe Robinson on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Not only can she spell, not only can she dribble, not only can she balance on weird stuff — she can do all three simultaneously. Avante-garde spelled “portmanteau” while dribbling three basketballs at the same time and balancing on a yoga roller. What’s more, she did it all right after meeting Bill Murray. Avant-garde name-checked Murray while reasoning out the word that won her the Bee, “murraya.” Is Avante-garde a huge Murrayhead? Not especially, it sounds like. The only movie of his that she’s seen with her dad is Lost in Translation. So to recap: Zaila Avant-garde is a record-holding basketball dribbler whose first thought upon hearing the word “murraya” is “Oh, like Bill Murray,” but she hasn’t seen Space Jam — the movie where Bill Murray dribbles a basketball. Go figure.

Zaila Avant-garde Can Dribble While Spelling, You Losers