Former Spelling Bee Champ Relives Past Glory

Chicagoan wins ESPN Zone Sports Spelling Bee

By Marcus Riley
|  Friday, May 29, 2009  |  Updated 2:45 PM CDT
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Scripps National Spelling Bee Photos

ESPN Zone

Andre Ross knows his way around a spelling bee. He was the 1990 Chicagoland Spelling Bee champion.

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Many eyes were glued to ESPN this week for two reasons -- the NBA Conference Finals and the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee.

Meanwhile, Chicago's ESPN Zone hosted an event Thursday night that served as the perfect mix between the two -- the second annual ESPN Zone Sports Spelling Bee.

It's exactly what it sounds like. Fifteen candidates faced off against each other to see who had the best game when it came to spelling sports names.

Chicagan Andre Ross, 34, took home top honors -- an ESPN Zone prize pack worth $1,000, a big ol' trophy and of course, bragging rights. He's also had a bit of practice at this. Ross was the 1990 Chicagoland Spelling Bee champion and finished 65th in the national event that year.

So what names did he spell to win it all? Former NBA Seattle Sonics guard "Detlef Shrempf" and the first name of Dallas Mavericks small forward Devean George.

Runner-up Gabe Aguirre misspelled Daunte Culpepper's first name, and defending champion Qumar Zaman finished third after butchering Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter.

We can only pity the contestant who was stuck spelling Byfuglien.

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