So sad, he was still young. My condolences go out to his family & friends. May you Rest In Peace ORLANDO!!!
Daily News reports — MANSFIELD, La. – Former NBA standout Orlando Woolridge has died at his parents’ home in Mansfield, La. He was 52.
DeSoto Parish Chief Deputy Coroner Billy Locke said the former Lakers player and Sparks head coach 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 was a star at Mansfield High School before going on to play for Notre Dame, where he was a second-team All-American as a senior.
Drafted sixth overall in the 1981 draft, he spent his first five seasons with the Bulls and averaged 22.9 points per game during Michael Jordan’s first season in 1984-85.
After Woolridge joined the New Jersey Nets and was suspended by the league for violation of the league substance abuse policy in 1987, he signed with the Lakers in 1988. As a role player, the 6-foot-9 power forward provided offensive firepower and size off the bench. His 55.6% field goal percentage during the 1989-90 season was fifth in the NBA.
In the summer of 1990, Woolridge was traded to Denver for two second-round draft picks. He also played for Detroit (1991-93), Milwaukee (1993) and Philadelphia (1993-94) before playing two seasons in Italy
He later coached the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, taking over for Julie Rousseau in 1998 and splitting the team’s last 10 games. In 1999, the Sparks went 20-12 and made their first trip to the WNBA playoffs, winning the Western Conference semifinal before falling to the two-time defending champion Houston Comets in the conference final.
Woolridge’s son Renaldo carried on the family name in area hoops, starring at Harvard-Westlake as a two-time Mission League MVP and all-state honoree. At 6-foot-9 like his father, Renaldo Woolridge averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds as a senior.
Renaldo Woolridge played at Tennessee but has transferred to USC, where he will play as a senior next season