The sports world is mourning the loss of Eric Zaun. The professional volleyball player died from an apparent suicide after jumping out the window of his Atlantic City hotel room.
Eric Zaun, 25, died on June 11 after jumping out the window of his hotel room on the 29th floor of the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, according to PEOPLE. The Atlantic City Police Department responded around 5:30 p.m local time to a report of a man found dead in the hotel’s parking lot, Sergeant Kevin Fair told PEOPLE, and investigators discovered that said man had died from an apparent suicide. At first, the police wouldn’t reveal the man’s identity, choosing to only say he was a 25-year-old from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. When the authorities finally confirmed that it was Eric, it sent a shock throughout the volleyball community, who shared their overwhelming sadness online.
The AVP is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Eric Zaun,” the Association of Volleyball Professionals shared on Instagram. “Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. He will be deeply missed.” “This is a huge loss for the entire volleyball community,” said USA Volleyball CEO Jamie Davis in a statement. “Eric was a talented young beach player and stepped up this spring to play snow volleyball for the U.S. He will be missed.”
“He was the most unique person I’ve ever known. He could light up any room with his smile and his laughter and attitude were infectious,” teammate Eric Ratledge said, per Yahoo News. “It was a privilege to be his partner and to have him in my life, he brought out the best in me and I’ll miss him forever.”
Eric, a New Jersey native, moved to California in 2017 to better pursue his professional volleyball career by joining the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. It worked: VolleyballMag.com and the Association of Volleyball Professionals named him 2017’s Rookie of the Year. Before that, he had won the National Volleyball League Breakthrough Athlete award in 2015. Before his move west, Eric attended Limestone College in South Carolina, where he played men’s volleyball. The sport took him around the world, and most recently, his team placed fifth in Austria and ninth in Italy in International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) competitions, according to Fox News.
Sand Wannabes, a forum for volleyball players, paid tribute to Eric by sharing a few pics while remembering a time when he visited Aussie’s Grill & Beach Bar in Austin, Texas. “A few Sand Wannabes to many got to know Eric on different levels at different times from his NVL days to current AVP days, and those interactions from watching him play with so much intensity to casual convos were always memorable. It’s a sad day. If you’re going through stuff/life reach out, especially in the sand volleyball world as there are good crews of listeners when needed. RIP Eric.”