Eric Montross, Former NCAA Champ and 1st Round NBA Draft Pick, Dead at 52

by · Breitbart

Eric Montross, the former North Carolina star who was such a force in college basketball in the early nineties, has died after a battle with cancer.

He was 52 years old.

“Carolina Athletics, the Tar Heel basketball family and the entire University community are profoundly saddened and stunned by the loss of Eric Montross, one of our most beloved former student-athletes, at far too young an age,” the University of North Carolina announced in a statement.

“Eric was a great player and accomplished student, but the impacts he made on our community went way beyond the basketball court. He was a man of faith, a tremendous father, husband and son, and one of the most recognizable ambassadors of the University and Chapel Hill.”

Center Eric Montross of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots the ball during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at the Cole Field House in College Park, Maryland. (Doug Pensinger /Allsport0)

Montross was a stalwart in UNC’s 1993 title run and eventually became a 1st round pick in the NBA draft after four years at Chappell Hill.

The Boston Celtics selected the 7-footer from Indiana with the 9th overall pick in the 1994 draft. Montross had a stellar rookie season with the Celtics and earned an NBA All-Rookie team selection with 10.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game.

Montross spent eight seasons in the NBA and played for the Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors.

After his NBA days, Montross returned to Chapel Hill and became a color commentator for the Heels.

Eric Montross and Jones Angell (2nd and 3rd from left, respectively), radio color analyst and play-by-play announcers, respectively for the North Carolina Tar Heels, during a North Carolina game against the Tulane Green Wave on December 03, 2017, at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)

Fans will remember Montross best for the “Bloody Montross Game” against Duke in 1992 when he went to the foul line with a cut under his left eye after a hard foul. He also scored 16 points and recorded five rebounds in the national championship game against Michigan.