Eric Montross, former UNC star and ex-NBAer, dead at 52

· New York Post

Eric Montross, a former North Carolina basketball star who helped lead the Tar Heels to a national championship in 1993 and played eight seasons in the NBA, died Sunday after a battle with cancer, his family announced. He was 52.

Montross, who was a color commentator on the Tar Heels’ radio broadcasts, was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer in March. He had been undergoing treatment at the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center.

“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,” the school said in a statement.

Eric Montross, who helped lead North Carolina to a national title in 1993, has died at 52 after a cancer battle. University of North Carolina
Eric Montross helped lead North Carolina to a national championship in 1993. Getty Images

The 7-foot Montross was the starting center for North Carolina’s national championship team in ’93, when he earned first-team All-ACC honors.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend and Tar Heel legend Eric Montross,” North Carolina chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a statement. “He was an incredible friend, a passionate leader and an inspiring advocate for our campus.”

Montross was the No. 9 overall pick by the Celtics in the 1994 NBA Draft and spent two seasons with Boston before he was traded to the Mavericks.

North Carolina’s Eric Montross shoots against Michigan’s Chris Webber in the national championship game on April 5, 1993. NCAA Photos via Getty Images
Eric Montross was a radio analyst for North Carolina’s basketball games. Getty Images

Dallas then traded Montross to the Nets in February of 1997, and he played 31 games for the Nets before he was again traded to the 76ers.

Montross was dealt from Philadelphia to the Pistons in December 1997 and finally found a home for a couple of seasons, ultimately being traded to the Raptors in February 2001.

The Indianapolis native, who averaged 4.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 465 NBA career games, missed the entire 2002-03 season with a foot injury that forced him into retirement.

Eric Montross started the 1996-97 season with the Mavericks before he was traded to the Nets in February 1997. AFP via Getty Images
Eric Montross playing for the Nets in 1997. NBAE via Getty Images

Montross is survived by wife Laura, daughters Sarah and Megan and son Andrew.