By Ron Johnson
Tragedy struck the UNC family as former Tar Heel and NBA big man Eric Montross succumbed to cancer in March at the age of 52 on Sunday.
Montross’ college career began in 1990 at North Carolina under Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith and culminated in 1993 as the Tar Heels won a national championship against Michigan. Montross finished his collegiate career as a first-team All-ACC after the title victory and was a two-time AP second-team All-American.
He went on to be selected in the 1994 NBA draft as the ninth pick of the Boston Celtics. During his eight-year NBA career, he played for the Celtics, Mavericks, Nets, Sixers, Pistons and Raptors. Following his playing career, he became a radio analyst for UNC game broadcasts for 18 years and worked as the senior gifts director for the Rams Club. He also launched a father-child basketball camp for Father’s Day weekends in an effort to support UNC Children’s Hospital.
Back in March of 2023, it was announced by Montross that he had multiple myeloma. He was originally diagnosed in late 2022. For almost a year, Montross battled his cancer and had the full support of his family as well as the entire UNC family. On Sunday, he lost this battle with cancer and passed away alongside family and friends.