Former NBA Player Orlando Woolridge Passes Away


Orlando Woolridge, the sixth overall pick in the 1981 NBA draft, has passed away. He was 52. According to DeSoto Parish Chief Deputy Coroner Billy Locke, Woolridge passed while under hospice care for a chronic heart condition.

Woolridge was drafted by the Chicago Bulls and averaged 22.9 points per game in the 1984-85 season, becoming the last player to lead the Bulls in scoring before Michael Jordan took command of the team. The 6-foot-9 forward was always known as a versatile scorer and played for the Lakers, Nets, 76ers, Nuggets, Bucks, and Pistons in addition to playing for the Bulls. Over the course of his 13 year career, Woolridge averaged 16 points a game and also participated in one of the greatest slam dunk contests of all time in 1985 competing with Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, and Julius Erving.

Woolridge was suspended in 1987 for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy, but was able to overcome those demons to return and play eight more seasons in the league ending with Philadelphia in the 1993-94 season. He then went on to play two seasons professionally in Italy, and coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.

Rest in peace Mr. Woolridge.

3 thoughts on “Former NBA Player Orlando Woolridge Passes Away

  • I am saddened to hear of the passing of Orlando Woolridge. I grew up watching him at Notre Dame and in the League. He was as skilled and athletic a big man as I’ve ever seen. With his size, skills and athletic package, I can’t imagine the value the basketball world would place on him if he were a prep player right now.

    I am nonplussed to hear the back-story of his post NBA life. He had a persona that suggested that he had it all together and did not take s–t off of anyone.

    But it’s good hear that he came from a tight-knit family and that he did so much for his family members. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

    Age 52 is way to young to leave this world.

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  • Hey Jeff, we’re inside of a couple of areas in Bishop, attempt Vons and Manor Industry. Sorry we don’t distribute to LA.

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