Share your thoughts about this story. To comment, you'll need to login into your Facebook account. Your comment will post immediately. Comments that are not in keeping with our policies may be removed by editors.
Former UNLV men's tennis star Mehdi Bouras (pronounced "MED-ee BUR-us"), one of the most decorated players in program history, died suddenly Thursday at the age of 24.
Bouras, a native of Algiers, came to UNLV out of Paris, France, and was a professional player based in Miami. He was ranked No. 986 in singles and No. 1,321 in doubles in the current ATP Wold Tour Rankings. He was in Costa Mesa, Calif., competing in an ITF futures tour event when he fell ill earlier this week.
A nationally ranked player at UNLV, Bouras finished with a singles record of 66-36 and as a senior in 2011, became the first Rebel to play in both the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments since 1997.
Bouras' trophy case was overflowing while on campus as he was named the 2011 Mountain West Men's Tennis Player of the Year and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Mountain Region Senior Player of the Year. Winner of a school-record seven conference player of the week awards during his career, he was also the 2010 ITA Regional Player to Watch and the 2009 Mountain West Freshman of the Year.
Equally impressive in the classroom, Bouras was a two-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and a three-time Academic All-Mountain West honoree. The management major was named the 2009 UNLV Most Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the UNLV Athletics Department.
"I loved the kid so much and everyone that met him loved him," UNLV men's tennis head coach Owen Hambrook said. "Mehdi just had unbelievable character, was a model student-athlete, a great tennis player and a wonderful ambassador for UNLV. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family. He will never be forgotten by all of us who knew him."