Former North Carolina, NBA star Eric Montross diagnosed with cancer

Eric Montross, who led the University of North Carolina basketball team to a national title in 1993 and played eight seasons in the NBA, has been diagnosed with cancer.

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The family of Montross, 51, issued a statement through UNC updating the condition of the former center, who currently is an analyst with the Tar Heel Sports Network.

It was not revealed what kind of cancer Montroll was fighting.

“We are all touched by the responses our entire family has received since the news became public,” the family wrote in its statement. “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.”

Montross was the starting center for the Tar Heels when North Carolina won its second NCAA basketball title under coach Dean Smith, ESPN reported. He was a two-time Associated Press second-team All-American.

Montross and his wife founded the Eric Montross Father’s Day Basketball Camp, which benefits UNC Children’s Hospital, according to The News & Observer.

Montross played for UNC from 1990 to 1994, according to Sports-Reference.com. He averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 139 games. During the Tar Heels’ national title run, Montross averaged 15.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

He was a first-round pick (ninth overall) of the Boston Celtics in the 1994 NBA Draft, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

Montross played in the NBA for the Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets.

Montross has been a lead color analyst for the Tar Heel Sports Network’s basketball telecasts since 2015, WRAL-TV reported.

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