Ex-NBA player and college basketball legend Eric Montross diagnosed with cancer at age of 51: Tributes pour in for North Carolina legend
Eric Montross, a former national champion with North Carolina and first-round NBA draft pick, has been diagnosed with cancer, the Montross family announced Saturday on the Tar Heels team Twitter account.
Montross, 51, is beginning treatment at UNC Lineberger Center in North Carolina.
‘Our family is of course deeply concerned, but 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 said in a statement on Twitter.
‘We are all touched by the responses our entire family has received since the news became public.
‘Your support is more than appreciated; it is welcomed as a necessary part of beating cancer one day at a time.’
Eric Montross (L) and his family announced online that he has been diagnosed with cancer
Montross – a 7-foot center in his playing days – was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1994
‘Our family is dealing with Eric’s diagnosis head-on — the only way we know how. And we are all in this fight together.’
Montross has been a radio analyst on UNC men’s basketball games since 2015.
The 7-foot native of Indianapolis spent four seasons playing for legendary head coach Dean Smith from 1990-94 and was a key member of the 1993 national championship squad.
He was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and consensus second-team All-America as a junior and second-team All-ACC and consensus second-team All-America selection, including Academic All-American, as a senior.
In 139 games (105 starts), Montross averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He shot 58.5 percent from the field.
The Boston Celtics selected him ninth overall in the 1994 NBA Draft.
He averaged 4.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 465 games (288 starts) over an eight-year career playing for the Celtics (1994-96), Dallas Mavericks (1996-97), the then-New Jersey Nets (1997), Philadelphia 76ers (1997), Detroit Pistons (1997-2001) and Toronto Raptors (2001-02).
Montross is pictured with the 1992 USA national team at a camp in La Jolla, California
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