Student's Sudden Death

April 1, 2009 9:12:54 PM PDT
Students at Tulare Union High School are mourning the sudden loss of a well liked tennis player. Azhur Ali collapsed on the court just before a match Monday and died a few hours later.            |   Post Your Memories of Azhur Ali, or Condolences   |

Azhar Ali was fine and talking with friends minutes before he fell to the pavement. Teammates say they just finished warm-ups when suddenly Azhar dropped. In fact, some people thought he was just joking, until they realized he wasn't moving.

Tennis practice at Tulare Union was not the same Tuesday. Flowers marked the exact spot where 17 year old Azhar Ali collapsed a day earlier. Tennis balls signed by teammates formed his name in the fence. His death has been hard enough, but watching it happen has compounded the grief.

Tiffany De La Rosa hung out with Azhar everyday at the same spot on campus. She says the tragedy came as such a shock that many classmates refused to believe it was true. So they tried to call Azhar.

Friends and classmates signed messages remembering the 17 year old who was just two months shy of graduating. By all accounts Azhar was the kind of student who got along with everyone.

Teammates voted to play their next matches Wednesday in Monache. They say, it's what Azhar would want, so they'll take to the court in his honor.

There's still no word on what caused Azhar's death. Friends say he was healthy and had no prior medical problems. An autopsy will help determine what happened to end his life.

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