Tennis

Former Montana Grizzly, Hellgate tennis standout Alex Braun dies in hiking accident

Former Missoula Hellgate tennis standout Alex Braun died in a hiking accident in Ireland last week.

Braun, who teamed with his brother Eric to win a boys State AA doubles crown in 2010, fell off a cliff in the Dartry mountain range in Co Sligo on July 1, according to The Irish Times. He was hiking with his 27-year-old girlfriend, who was rescued from a narrow ledge on the side of a cliff.

The Irish Times further stated that Braun and his girlfriend had climbed over a cave and across the top of Ben Whisken mountain. As they were descending the side of the cliff, they became stranded on a ledge.

Braun enjoyed a good deal of tennis success beyond his career at Hellgate. He won three singles divisions in the 2011 Western Montana Open, including the men’s open, boys 18 and boys 16 classifications.

Braun was a member of the University of Montana tennis team for two years. He also spent several summers teaching kids tennis lessons through the Missoula Parks and Recreation Department.

“The team loved him and he was just the most likable kid in the world, worked real hard, polite,” former UM tennis coach Kris Nord said. “For not being in the starting lineup, he was a good contributor and we’re all crushed.

“He was on the roster when we went to NCAAs and he got to go, which was an awesome thing for him to go along with his brother (Eric) on the team.”

Alex Braun completed his master’s degree in geological engineering in April and was weighing job offers in Spain and the United States.

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