Former Lawrence North basketball star Eric Montross dies


Former Lawrence North High School basketball star Eric Montross, 52, died of cancer Dec. 17 at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C., according to an announcement from the University of North Carolina Athletics.

He was diagnosed with cancer in March, the announcement stated. 

The 7-foot Montross was a member of Lawrence North’s 1989 state championship boys basketball team. In college, he played for head coach Dean Smith and the UNC Tar Heels from 1990-94, according to the announcement. He was the starting center in 1993, when the Tar Heels won the NCAA championship.

Montross was named first-team All-ACC in 1993; was a member of the John Wooden All-America team as a senior; and earned NCAA East Region and Final Four all-tournament honors in leading UNC to the 1993 national championship. A first-round draft pick of the Boston Celtics, he played nine seasons in the NBA. 

Montross was an analyst on the Tar Heel Sports Network for 18 seasons until he stepped away from the microphone this season. He also was senior major gifts director at the Rams Club.

In the announcement, his family thanked supporters. 

“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,” the family stated.

Carolina Athletics expressed sadness at the loss.

“Eric was a great player and accomplished student, but the impacts he made on our community went way beyond the basketball court,” the organization stated. “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.”

Montross is survived by his wife, Laura, and children, Sarah, Andrew and Megan.