Former NBA big man and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eric Montross passed away from cancer, according to his family. 52 was his age.
The family’s statement, which the school made public on Monday morning, stated that Eric Montross passed away on Sunday at his Chapel Hill home while surrounded by loved ones. After receiving a cancer diagnosis in March, he resigned from his position as radio analyst for the University of North Carolina game broadcasts.
The Montross family released a statement expressing their gratitude for all the amazing love and support they received while their loved one fought with his characteristic grace and determination.
They also expressed gratitude to UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center, which shared his zeal for fighting cancer.
They added that to know Eric was to be his friend, and the family is aware that the numerous lives he touched with his profound and genuine kindness will continue to be impacted by the kind, considerate way he lived his life.
Kevin Guskiewicz’s Statement
In a statement following Montross’s passing, UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz expressed his profound sadness at the passing of his close friend and Tar Heel legend Eric Montross. According to him, Montross was an amazing friend, a driven leader, and a motivating supporter of their university.
He said that because of Montross’s unwavering support of the UNC Children’s Hospital and his yearly Father’s Day basketball camp, his influence went far beyond the court. He declared that Eric will be greatly missed and that they have lost a great Tar Heel.
Carolina Athletics Statement
In a statement, Carolina Athletics said that the university community, the Tar Heel basketball family, and themselves are all deeply shocked and saddened by the premature death of Eric Montross. He was mentioned as one of their favorite former student-athletes.
They continued by saying that although Eric was an excellent basketball player and student, his contributions to their community extended well beyond the basketball court. They recalled him as one of the most well-known representatives of the University and Chapel Hill, as well as a man of faith and an amazing husband, father, and son.
Eric Montross’ Career Highlights
From 1990 to 1994, Eric Montross was a member of Dean Smith’s Tar Heels and was selected twice for the Associated Press second-team All-America. He began playing for Smith’s second NCAA title team in 1993. A year later, he was selected by the Boston Celtics with the ninth overall pick, and he played in the NBA until 2002.
He was employed by the Rams Club, the fundraising arm of UNC athletics, as senior major gifts director in addition to his broadcast responsibilities. He was also well-known for his charitable endeavors, including organizing a basketball camp for dads and kids on Father’s Day weekend to benefit the UNC Children’s Hospital.
As noted by CBS Sports, Montross spent his first two seasons as a teammate of Hubert Davis, the current coach of Carolina. For over half of the 1992–93 season, the Tar Heels held the top five spots in the AP Top 25, never dropping below No. 8. In addition to being the team’s top scorer with an average of 17.5 points and 7.6 rebounds, Montross was also perhaps its most dependable player.
He averaged 19.5 points per game while helping UNC defeat Michigan and Kansas in the 1993 Final Four. Consensus second-team All-American, he repeated as a recipient of this honor in his senior year.
During his eight years in the NBA, he played for the Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, and Toronto Raptors.