Eric Zaun Memorial Scholarship

Eric Zaun Memorial Scholarship Seeking Applicants

Eric Zaun

When a single person touches as many lives as Eric Zaun did, particularly in a single community, the ripple effects of his life will be felt for a long, long time.

Already, those ripples are being felt, and seen. A $3,000 Eric Zaun Memorial Scholarship has been founded.

“Eric was one of the hardest working, most dedicted beach volleyball players in the history of the sport,” Jon Mesko, co-founder of the scholarship, wrote in a statement, “often pulling double and triple days, exemplifying the true characteristics of a champion on his way to being named AVP Rookie of the Year, among other accolades.

“The Memorial Fund has been established to annually support the passion, dream and dedication of a new aspiring beach volleyball athlete each year with a demonstrated financial need.”

How to apply: Interested candidates should submit a 500-word personal statement that answers one of the following prompts:

Qualifications: Not much. You just have to be a beach volleyball player under the age of 30 with a demonstrated financial need.

  • Zaun was a big proponent for adversity. He thought it made you stronger and, almost as importantly, made for the best stories. Recount a time when you faced an adverse situation. How did it affect you and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Zaun was, quietly, one of the most philanthropic athletes on tour. He gave every jersey he ever wore to a fan – mostly kids – and went Christmas shopping for families in need. Most importantly, he never made a show of it. When was the last time you did something for somebody who couldn’t do anything for you in return? Why did you do it? What did you learn from the experience?
  • Zaun’s work ethic was well known, and he was able to work so hard because he had a clear and definitive “why” when it came to beach volleyball: He wanted to experience the world and all it had to offer, using the passion he had for beach volleyball as the vehicle to get him there. What’s your why?
  • Eric gave up the comforts of life for the love of beach volleyball and the pursuit of becoming a beach volleyball professional.  He moved across the country to live in a van on the streets of Southern California.  Please describe what sacrifices you are making, or would consider making, and how would you use the scholarship?

Essays should be sent to and The deadline is Wednesday, August 7. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 13.