On Monday, a devoted Tar Heel family endowed a scholarship for the Carolina Basketball center position in honor of former All-American and National Champion Eric Montross.
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).
“Having this scholarship endowed in my name is a great honor,” Montross told GoHeels.com. “When I arrived on campus in the fall of 1990, I knew relatively little about the tradition that preceded me; only that Coach [Dean] 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. I am humbled, knowing there will forever be young men receiving this Scholarship, who 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.”
Rams Club Family Endows Scholarship to Honor Eric Montross.
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— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) February 28, 2022
One of the best Carolina centers of all time, Montross was a first-team All-ACC selection and averaged 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 1992-93, when UNC went 34-4 and won its third NCAA Championship. The Indianapolis, Ind., native scored 23 points in the Final Four against Kansas and 16 versus Michigan in the title 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 finished his collegiate career (1990-94) with 1,627 points (11.7 per game), 941 rebounds (6.8), and 169 blocked shots (1.2).
Following graduation, Montross was selected in the first round of the draft (No. 9) by the Boston Celtics and went on to play nine seasons in the NBA. He finished his career with averages of 4.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks per game.
Montross is currently a senior major gifts director at the Rams Club and in his 17th season as an analyst on the Tar Heel Sports Network.
In March, 2009 National Champion Danny Green made a $1 million gift to endow a scholarship within the Campaign for Carolina Athletics. A $500 million fundraising effort, the CCA is part of the University’s overall For All Kind campaign.