A North Carolina Tar heel icon has tragically lost his life at a young age.
Eric Montross died from cancer on Sunday at the age of 52.
Eric Montross, who starred at North Carolina from 1990-94, passed away as his family made the tragic announcement on Monday.
“The family of Eric Montross (Laura, Sarah, Andrew, and Megan) is announcing that he passed away on Sunday, December 17, surrounded by loved ones at his home in Chapel Hill. Eric was diagnosed with cancer in March 2023, and his family is grateful for the tremendous support and the truly overwhelming love expressed by so many people as he battled with his signature determination and grace,” UNC announced.
“They also thank the many members of the medical community—and particularly those at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center—who matched his fight with equal passion. To know Eric was to be his friend, and the family knows that the ripples from the generous, thoughtful way that he lived his life will continue in the lives of the many people he touched with his deep and sincere kindness.”
Montross died on Sunday, about nine months after he was diagnosed with cancer.
BOSTON – JUNE 10: A detail of the Boston Celtics logo as the Celtics get set to play against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 10, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The former basketball star was a McDonald’s All-American in 1990 before he committed to play for the Tar Heels. He emerged as a First-Team All-ACC in 1993 and a Second-Team All-ACC selection in 1994. He was a Second-Team All-American for the Tar Heels in 1993 and 1994.
He was a huge part of helping North Carolina to a national championship over the “Fab Five” Michigan team in 1993.
After college, the Boston Celtics chose Montross with the No. 9 overall pick of the 1994 draft, and he made the All-Rookie Second Team.
He played in the NBA from 1994 to 2002 and played for the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Pistons.
His career ended as he finished averaging 4.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 465 career games.
In his post-playing career, Montross was a color commentator for the Tar Heels Sports Network.