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Eric Montross : biography

September 23, 1971 -

Eric Scott Montross (born September 23, 1971) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the NBA.

Montross attended Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis and graduated in 1990. He was the starting center for the Indiana state champion Wildcats for Lawrence North in 1989. He was selected as a McDonald's All American in 1990. That same year, he was named to the USA Today All-USA first Team. Later in 1990, he began attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was part of the North Carolina Tar Heels team that won the NCAA Championship against Michigan in 1993 and was named an All-American as a junior and senior. Ironically, Montross' father and grandfather had played for Michigan. His father Scott was a teammate of Cazzie Russell in the 1960s and his grandfather John Townsend was an All-American in the 1930s.

In 1994, he started the Eric Montross Fathers Day Basketball Camp. The camp helped raise thousands of dollars for UNC hospitals and still does.

Montross was selected by the Boston Celtics with the ninth overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. During his first year in the NBA, he averaged 10 points per game, and was selected to the 1995 Rookie All-Star Game and named to the NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team. However, Montross would never again reach this level of production. The Celtics came under fire for selecting Montross over players such as Eddie Jones, Jalen Rose, and Aaron McKie. During his career in the NBA, Montross played with the Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, and the Toronto Raptors. Montross announced his retirement on August 26, 2003, due to a foot injury and was waived by the Raptors in February, 2004.

Montross is now color commentator on UNC's basketball broadcasts, working alongside play-by-play man Jones Angell.

During his career, Montross averaged 4.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and 0.4 assists per game. He played in 465 games and started 263.

Montross was also a baseball pitcher in high school and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs with the 1547th pick overall in the 1994 MLB draft.

With the Pan-American Health Organization, Montross co-founded an organization called Vaccine Ambassadors, which aims to distribute vaccines all over the world, especially to developing countries, and help children.


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