UNC Basketball: Eric Montross passes away at the age of 52

On Monday morning, it was announced that the former UNC basketball star had passed away at the age of 52 after battling with cancer.

North Carolina v Maryland
North Carolina v Maryland / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Very sad news hit the UNC basketball community on Monday morning, as it was announced that the legendary Eric Montross has passed away at the age of 52 years old.

In March of 2023, Montross was diagnosed with cancer, as the North Carolina family rallied around the man who became such an integral part of the UNC basketball family. Not only was he an impact player on the court, but was a steady presence in Chapel Hill following his professional career, as he became a part of the Tar Heel Sports Network, a role he fulfilled for 18 seasons.

Montross played for head coach Dean Smith and the Tar Heels from 1990-94, as he was a teammate of current UNC basketball head coach Hubert Davis. He was the starting center on the 1993 team that won the NCAA Championship and earned plenty of individual accolades that season as well. During that memorable national championship season, Montross was a first-team All-ACC selection and earned NCAA East Region and Final Four all-tournament honors during that postseason run. As a senior, Montross was named to the John Wooden All-America team, capping off his impressive career as a Tar Heel.

After leaving Chapel Hill, Montross was a first round draft pick by the Boston Celtics and spent 9 seasons competing in the NBA.

In an official press release from Carolina Athletics, here's an official statement regarding Montross' passing.

" "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. 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.

He helped the Rams Club secure scholarships for student-athletes, and as color analyst for the Tar Heel Sports Network he brought perspective, heart and humor to UNC fans near and far. Eric also became an ardent supporter of the Lineberger Center while in college and remained a leader in the fight against cancer throughout his life.

We extend our deepest condolences to Laura, his children and entire family, and his colleagues and friends. The number of people who loved Eric and were touched by him is immeasurable.""

Carolina Athletics

Although he is no longer with us, Eric Montross' impact on the UNC basketball program, and the University of North Carolina as a whole, will NEVER be forgotten.

Rest in Peace, Big Grits.

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