Former Chicago Bulls player Orlando Woolridge dies at age 52

Former Chicago Bulls Forward Orlando Woolridge died Thursday in Mansfield, Louisiana. Woolridge, 52, had been dealing with a chronic heart condition and eventually died in his parents’ home. Woolridge had a thirteen year legacy in the NBA, playing for seven different teams, most notably the Bulls. He was a dominant factor on the team in the early 1980s.

Woolridge, a 6’9” forward, is best known for his dunks and his alley-oops, but was a game changer all around. On average, in the 28 or so minutes of play he saw per game, Woolridge would put up 16 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game over his career.

The Bulls drafted Woolridge out of Notre Dame in 1981, taking him as the sixth overall pick of the draft. After the bulls, Woolridge played eight more seasons with teams ranging from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. After his NBA career, Woolridge even had a short stint as coach of a WNBA team, the Los Angeles Sparks.

Quite apart from his athleticism, many are remembering Woolridge for his smile and his ability to brighten a room. His personality was the truly unique thing about him. Many former teammates and coaches have expressed their sorrow at the news of his passing, and it came as a shock to many of them.

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Categories: Basketball