A devoted Tar Heel family has endowed a scholarship for the Carolina Basketball center position in honor of former All-America and national champion Eric MontrossUNC Athletics and The Rams Club announced today.
The gift will fund The Eric Montross Center Endowment, which recognizes the long history and tradition of excellence and achievement at the position and will provide a scholarship to a Tar Heel center each school year.
This is the third men’s basketball position to be endowed. In 2019, Tommy Kearns, the point guard on the 1957 NCAA champions, provided the funds to endow his former position. Last year, the Wilkins Family Power Forward Position Scholarship was also established. This year’s scholarship recipients are RJ Davis (Kearns) and Brady Manek (Wilkins).
Montross is currently a senior major gifts director at the Rams Club and in his 17th season as analyst on the Tar Heel Sports Network.
He totaled 1,627 points, 941 rebounds and 169 blocked shots for Coach Dean Smith’s Tar Heels from 1990-94. He earned numerous first- and second-team All-America honors as both a junior and senior.
“Having this scholarship endowed in my name is a great honor,” Montross says. “When I arrived on campus in the fall of 1990, I knew relatively little about the tradition that preceded me; only that Coach Smith and the University of North Carolina were giving me an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. Today, I recognize that the lessons learned in the classroom and on the court during my four years at Carolina crafted the trajectory of my life. like me, arrive on campus wide-eyed, and leave here four years later, debt-free with a world-class education. Carolina Basketball has always placed the team first; when I think about the naming of this scholarship, I think about the distinguished names before me who played this position and wore the Carolina jersey and all those dreaming to wear it in the future.”
Montross was a first-team All-ACC selection and averaged 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 1992-93, when Carolina went 34-4 and won her third NCAA championship. The Indianapolis, Ind., native scored 23 points in the national semifinals against Kansas and 16 versus Michigan in the national championship game in New Orleans. He was also part of teams that won two ACC Tournament titles (1991, 1994) and shares the UNC record for playing in the most ACC Tournament wins (10).
Montross also excelled in the classroom, earning first-team Academic All-America honors in 1994 and two Academic All-ACC selections.
He was selected in the first round of the draft by the Boston Celtics and went on to play nine seasons in the NBA.
The center or post position at Carolina has been manned by some of the most accomplished players in ACC Basketball history, players such as Joe Quigg, Billy Cunningham, Rusty Clark, Bob McAdoo, Mitch Kupchak, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, Pete Chilcutt, Rasheed Wallace, Serge Zwikker, Brendan Haywood, Sean MayTyler Hansbrough, Ed Davis, Tyler Zeller, James Michael McAdoo, Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot.
Each of these players earned All-ACC or All-America honors and/or led their Tar Heel teams to NCAA championships.
“Eric is a great teammate,” says John Montgomery, executive director of the Rams Club. “He showed that on the court when he played, and he demonstrates it every day through his work with the Rams Club. The family that so generously gave the gift appreciates the commitment Eric has to Carolina Athletics and to her basketball program. are excited they can honor him in this meaningful way.”