Rams Club family endows scholarship in honor of Eric Montross
A devoted Tar Heel family endowed a scholarship for the position of Carolina basketball center in honor of the former All-America and national champion Eric MontrossUNC Athletics and The Rams Club announced today.
The donation will fund the Eric Montross Center Endowment, which recognizes the long history and tradition of excellence and achievement in this position and will provide a scholarship to one Tar Heel center each school year.
This is the third men’s basketball position to be filled. In 2019, Tommy Kearns, the point guard for the 1957 NCAA champions, provided the funds to staff his former position. Last year, the Wilkins Family Power Forward Position Scholarship was also established. This year’s scholarship recipients are RD Davis (Kearns) and Brady Manek (Wilkins).
Montross is currently Senior Director of Major Gifts at the Rams Club and in its 17and season as an 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 1990-1994. He earned numerous first- and second-team All-America honors as a junior and senior.
“To have this scholarship endowed in my name is a great honor,” says Montross. “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 gave me the opportunity to be part of something bigger than me. Today, I recognize that the lessons I learned in the classroom and on the field during my four years at Carolina shaped the trajectory of my life. I love this place and this program. I am touched, knowing that there will always be young men who receive this scholarship, who like me, arrive on campus wide-eyed and leave four years later, debt-free with a world-class education. always put the team first; when I think of the name of this scholarship, I think of the distinguished names before me who have played in this position and worn the Carolina jersey and all those who dream of wearing it at the ‘to come up.”
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 its third NCAA championship. The Indianapolis, Ind., native scored 23 points in the national semifinal against Kansas and 16 against 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 All-America Academic honors in 1994 and two Academic All-ACC selections.
He was selected in the first round of the draft by the Boston Celtics and played nine seasons in the NBA.
The center or post position at Carolina has been filled 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 Armand Bacot.
Each of these players has 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 it on the pitch when he played, and he shows it every day through his work with the Rams Club. The family who so generously gave the gift appreciate Eric’s commitment to Carolina Athletics and his basketball program. I know they are thrilled to be able to honor him in this meaningful way.”