Former UNLV tennis star Mehdi Bouras, 24, dies

Mehdi Bouras, one of the greatest players in UNLV men’s tennis history, died Thursday after becoming ill this week. He was 24.

Bouras was in Costa Mesa, Calif., to play in an International Tennis Federation futures event when he became sick.

Bouras had a 66-36 match record with the Rebels. As a senior in 2011, he became the first UNLV player since 1997 to compete in the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments.

“I loved the kid so much, and everyone that met him loved him,” UNLV coach Owen Hambrook said in a statement. “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.”

UNLV basketball player Justin Hawkins tweeted: “And there goes my day RIP Mehdi Bouras you will truly be missed.”

Former UNLV football player Aaron Reed tweeted: “RIP to a great friend and a better athlete. Mehdi Bouras you will be forever missed my brother.”

Bouras in 2011 was named Mountain West men’s player of the year as well as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Mountain Region Senior Player of the Year. In 2009, he was the conference Freshman of the Year.

Bouras lost a season of eligibility at UNLV because he had a year of academic residence. He was an outstanding student, a two-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Mountain West. Bouras was named UNLV’s top scholar-athlete in 2009.

He was born in Algiers, but signed with the Rebels out of Paris.

At the time of his death, Bouras was ranked No. 986 in singles in the ATP World Tour and No. 1,321 in doubles. He had been living in Miami.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.

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