College And NBA Basketball Star Dies At 52

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Eric Montross played basketball for the University of North Carolina from 1990 to 1994. In 1994, the Boston Celtics chose him in the NBA draft. During his 8-year career in the NBA, Montross also played for the Dallas Mavericks, the New Jersey Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Detroit Pistons, and the Toronto Raptors.

In March 2023, Montross was diagnosed with cancer. His family released a statement at the time explaining, “Eric was recently diagnosed with cancer and is beginning treatments under the care of the amazing oncologists, nurses, and staff at the world-class UNC Lineberger Cancer Center.”

While Montross’s family was “deeply concerned” about his health, they also remained optimistic. The statement from his family explained, “We have spent nearly three decades in the fight against children’s cancer and know well the incredible advancements that are being made in oncology treatments, as well as the power of love, prayer, support and positivity.”

The family concluded the statement by thanking everyone for “your support,” describing it as both “welcomed” and “necessary.”

Now, Montross’s family clearly needs another outpouring of love and support. Montross lost his battle with cancer on Sunday December 17, 2023. He was 52 years old.

In a post on Inside Carolina’s Instagram page, the “No. 1 home for Tar Heel fans” shared a statement released by the University of North Carolina. The statement reads, “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 statement continues, “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.⁠”

 

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Montross’s family explained in a statement that he was at home surrounded by his family at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Laura and their three children, their daughters Sarah and Meghan and their son Andrew.

Watch the video below to learn more about Montross’s basketball career and his cancer battle.