In a somber moment for the world of basketball, Eric Montross, a celebrated figure in North Carolina’s basketball history and an NBA veteran, has bid farewell to this world at the age of 52. Montross’ family shared the heart-wrenching news of his passing after his courageous battle against a formidable adversary, cancer.

Eric Montross etched his name in the annals of Tar Heel history, playing an instrumental role in leading the University of North Carolina to a glorious national championship victory in 1993. His contribution on the court was nothing short of legendary, and he went on to grace the NBA for eight seasons, displaying his unwavering dedication to the game.

Montross’ valiant fight against an undisclosed form of cancer began in March, leaving the basketball community and fans in shock and disbelief. Despite undergoing treatment at the renowned UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, the battle ultimately took him from us.

Those who knew Eric Montross were well aware of the kindness and generosity that flowed through his veins. The impact he made on the lives of people he encountered was profound, characterized by his genuine and profound acts of kindness. The University of North Carolina, in a heartfelt statement, expressed, “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.”

Standing tall at 7 feet, Montross was the lynchpin of the Tar Heels’ national championship-winning team in 1993, a year when he was honored with first-team All-ACC recognition for his outstanding contributions on the court.

The loss of Eric Montross has sent shockwaves through the Tar Heel community and the entire world of basketball. North Carolina’s chancellor, Kevin Guskiewicz, paid tribute to his dear friend and Tar Heel legend, saying, “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend and Tar Heel legend Eric Montross. He was an incredible friend, a passionate leader, and an inspiring advocate for our campus.”

Montross embarked on his NBA journey as the 9th overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the 1994 NBA Draft. He graced the hardwood for two seasons in Boston before a trade led him to don the Dallas Mavericks’ jersey. Subsequent trades took him on a journey that included stints with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Detroit Pistons before landing with the Toronto Raptors in February 2001.

During his illustrious NBA career, Eric Montross averaged 4.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 465 games. However, a foot injury during the 2002-03 season ultimately forced him into retirement, bringing an end to his remarkable journey on the court.

Eric Montross leaves behind a loving family, including his wife Laura, his daughters Sarah and Megan, and his son Andrew, who will continue to cherish his memory and the legacy he leaves behind.

In a world that often celebrates the extraordinary, Eric Montross embodied the essence of humility and the power of genuine kindness. His departure leaves an irreplaceable void in the basketball world, a void that can never be truly filled. As we mourn the loss of this basketball luminary, let us also celebrate the indelible mark he left on the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him.