Friday, June 2 2023

One of North Carolina’s biggest basketball legends, who then played center for many NBA teams in the 90s, Eric Montross, is currently battling cancer, as his family issued a statement this week. 

The announcement, which was made through the University of North Carolina, says he started treatments against the disease just this past weekend.

“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,” the communication reads. “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 Montross family acknowledges how important is all the support they’ve felt in the past few days, saying it’s become crucial for his recovery. “We are all touched by the responses our entire family has received since the news became public,” they expressed. “Your support is more than appreciated; it is welcomed as a necessary part of beating cancer one day at a time.”

“Our family is dealing with Eric’s diagnosis head-on – the only way we know how. And we are all in this fight together,” the statement ends.

The former NBA player, who is 51 years of age, was part of that famous Tar Heels’ 1993 championship team, as Montross scored 16 points for North Carolina to beat Michigan 77 to 71 in the NCAA Finals.

He is well remembered for this feat, as he concluded his collegiate career as a one-time First-Team ACC member and a two-time Second-Team All-American.

Montross played for six different NBA franchises during eight years as a professional

It was the Boston Celtics who first selected Montross with the No. 9 overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, as he went on to be a part of the All-Rookie Second-Team after his first campaign.

He is especially remembered for one play in which he was involved with a young Shaquille O’Neal who still wore the Magic jersey in 1995. As they both played centers, Montross tried to defend one of Shaq’s layups, but got tangled in his arm.

The Orlando player reacted by punching the Boston big man in the throat, as he was immediately ejected from court. Check out this play that happened 28 years ago in the video below:

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From 1994 to 2002, Montross was recruited by the Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and the Toronto Raptors.

In those eight years, Montross averaged 4.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game over 465 career matches. After retiring, he stayed close to North Carolina, becoming a radio analyst to this day.

Source: Basketball Insider


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