Former Nets’ High-Flyer Woolridge Dies At 52
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MANSFIELD, La. (WFAN/AP) — Former NBA standout Orlando Woolridge has died at his parents’ home in Mansfield, La. He was 52.
The Brooklyn Nets posted a message of condolences on their official Twitter account Friday afternoon: “Our deepest condolences go out to the family of former Net Orlando Woolridge who passed away today. Woolridge played for the Nets 1985-87.”
DeSoto Parish Chief Deputy Coroner Billy Locke said Woolridge died Thursday night. He had been under hospice care for a chronic heart condition.
Woolridge was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1981 and played in the NBA for 13 years. He played alongside a young Michael Jordan with the Bulls and later was a key member off the bench for the ‘Showtime Lakers’ under Pat Riley.
He played for the Bulls, Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons, and also coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.
One of the league’s most prolific dunkers, Woolridge averaged 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 28.3 minutes in 851 games. After ending his NBA career, Woolridge spent his final two seasons playing professionally in Italy.
He was a star at Mansfield High School before going on to play for Notre Dame.
The 6-foot-9 Woolridge averaged 10.6 points in 109 games at Notre Dame, helping the Fighting Irish reach the NCAA Tournament in each of his four collegiate seasons. He helped lead the Irish to the Final Four in 1978.
Woolridge is survived by his three children, Zachary, Renaldo and Tiana; by his parents, Mattie and Larnceen; his sister, Dr. Vanessa Woolridge Duplessis; his brother-in-law, Darren Duplessis; and his nephew, Nigel Duplessis.
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