The family of former NBA star Eric Montross have announced that he's undergoing treatment following a cancer diagnosis.
The nature of Montross' cancer has not been revealed, but the family have pledged to beat the disease "one day at a time" in an emotional statement. Montross was a former NBA first-round draft pick back in 1994, and has since been working back at the University of North Carolina as a radio analyst for the basketball team.
Montross, 51, will undergo the start of his treatment at UNC's Lineberger Center in North Carolina. The Montross family made the announcement on Saturday via the UNC official basketball team Twitter account.
"Eric was recently diagnosed with cancer and is beginning treatments under the care of the amazing oncologists, nurses and staff at the world-class UNC Lineberger Cancer Center," Eric, Laura, Andrew and Sarah Montross revealed in the statement. "Our family is of course deeply concerned, but we have spent nearly three decades in the fight against children's cancer and know well the incredible advancements that are being made in oncology treatments, as well as the power of love, prayer, support and positivity.
"We are all touched by the responses our entire family has received since the news became public. 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."
The year that Montross was drafted to the NBA, he set up the Eric Montross Fathers Day Basketball Camp - which has since raised over $1m for the UNC Children's hospital. Montross has also worked with the Pan-American Health Organisation, co-founding Vaccine Ambassadors - which aims to distribute vaccines all over the world, especially to developing countries and children in need.
The 7-foot Montross dominated for UNC as a youngster, and was a starter in the late Dean Smith's second NCAA championship squad in 1993. Montross was drafted ninth overall by the Boston Celtics, and enjoyed an eight-year playing career in the NBA.
During that time, Montross played for the Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, the then-New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors. The Montross family have been flooded with positive responses, and the sporting world is rooting for the 51-year-old through the toughest of times.