Stafford Slick called me the other day. June 11, to be exact. He had been scrolling Instagram, seeing the dozens of posts about Eric Zaun. He just – he didn’t know. It didn’t feel right to just throw something up on Instagram like so many others. Only seemed to be making a sad day sadder.

But he had an idea.

He was in Costco at the time, so it’s no wonder he was able to do some deep thinking. It’s probably the only place Slick, a father of two young children, can get some peace of mind (Note: Stafford loves his children very much; like any human being, he also loves a few minutes of God blessed silence. Let the man cherish a good Costco stroll, ok?).

What if we put on a tournament for Eric’s birthday? That would be Sunday, June 28. Not much time to figure things out, but hey, Eric was never one to go overboard on planning. Just make a decision and build the plane in the air. It’ll work out.

We agreed it was a great idea. What format, though, we weren’t sure. A little King of the Beach? Co-ed? A normal tournament? After a bit of hemming and hawing, we agreed to go with Zaun’s favorite style of play: King of the Court.

He was damn good at it when he was able to play it, and the King of the Court in Huntington Beach was one of his all-time favorite events – didn’t hurt that the players party afterwards verged on Gatsby levels.

King of the Court it was!

We landed on the number of eight teams per gender, to keep the numbers down and everything simple.

Here are the details you’ll need to know:

When: Sunday, June 28

Where: Hermosa Beach. Exact street TBD.

How to enter: Message Stafford, Katie Spieler, or I to enter. Your entry fee is a donation to the Eric Zaun Scholarship. Amount is your choice.


  • Four total courts – two courts per gender.
  • Four teams on each court.
  • Top two teams from each court, after a 30-minute round of King of the Court, move onto the winner’s court.
  • Bottom two teams from each court are on the contender’s court, where there might not be any prizes, but gambling is certainly encouraged and plenty of money can still be made. Eric was no stranger to significant bets on the volleyball court, and we once had agreed on a thousand dollar co-ed match that, fortunately for me and my bank account, never happened.

Arbitrary rules:

  • No lifts will be called. If you want to know why, here’s a timeless video from the Pottstown Rumble, where Eric’s hands were called one too many times. No lifts!
  • Outfits are preferably bought from Goodwill. The more ridiculous, the better.
  • Morale must remain high.

Other details:

  • We’ll be streaming at least one court on the SANDCAST YouTube channel, so Eric’s parents, Kim and Dave, who love watching beach volleyball, can finally get something to watch.

Fire up the grill, y’all.

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