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Catching Up with "The Rock Star of the Bee," Samir Patel

Samir Patel, back when he was belle of the Bee
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Surely, you know the heartbreaking tale of Colleyville's Samir Patel -- the spelling wunderkind who always seemed to come this close to clinching the Scripps National Spelling Bee title before dropping the proverbial clevis. Well, a year after his final appearance at the Bee, ESPN today catches up with 14-year-old Samir, who finds himself without a place to go -- as the Bee's about to buzz, and he's no longer eligible. Much thanks to the Friend of Unfair Park who sent us this terrific lunchtime read -- even it'll make you feel bad for not having "whizzed through 20 hours of dual-credit courses" at the age of 14 (he took them at North Lake College in Irving) or having "scored 2,060 out of 2,400 on the SAT as a seventh-grader." Smart parents too: Says Samir, "Apparently, I'm not allowed to get married till I'm 30." --Robert Wilonsky

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


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