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Orlando Woolridge, Former NBA Star, Dead at 52

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Orlando Woolridge, former NBA star and considered by many to be one of the most gifted dunkers to grace the court, passed away at his parents’ house in Mansfield, Louisiana. According to the Shreveport Times, Woolridge had been suffering from a chronic heart condition, one that ultimately claimed his life. He was 52.

Woolridge, who quickly made a name for himself playing ball for Mansfield High School and, mostly notably, Notre Dame, was selected sixth in the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls in 1981. After spending five years there, he moved on to the New Jersey Nets. Unfortunately, after playing a handful of games during the 87-88 season, Woolridge was suspended for violating the substance abuse policy.

After spending some time with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Denver Nuggets, the Detroit Pistons, and Milwaukee Bucks, Woolridge ended his NBA career at the Philadelphia 76ers in 1994. From there, Orlando took a trip to Italy, where he played professionally for Benetton Treviso (1994-95) and Buckler Bologna (1995-96).

Upon returning to America, Woolridge switched gears a bit, coaching the WNBA team the Los Angeles Sparks from 1998 to 1999. The new millenium found Orlando turning his attention to the American Basketball Association, where he spent a few years coaching the Houston Takers (2007-2008) and the Arizona Rhinos (2008-2009).

Unfortunately, Woolridge made headlines this February when he was arrested for stealing more than $2,000 worth of aluminum water lines.

Twitter users have ventured to the micro-blogging site to discuss Woolridge’s passing. You can have a look at a few of their responses below.

R.I.P. orlando woolridge…man i loved that guy, was so happy when he was a laker. he was a real powerhouse and seemed a sweetheart @lakers
28 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto
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Wow. Former NBA baller Orlando Woolridge has died. Dude was a monster scorer/dunker. RIP. He was 52.
1 hour ago via Facebook · powered by @socialditto
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So sorry to hear the passing of Orlando Woolridge. My prayers and condolences go out to his family during this tough time. #RIPBigO
1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto
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Sorry to hear about Orlando Woolridge death. His son Renaldo, played.for me and was recruited by me for UT. Prayers go out to the family.
2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto
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RIP Orlando Woolridge. Former Chicago Bull and Notre Dame star. Was great to be around. Always had a smile on his face
2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto
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Orlando Woolridge, Former NBA Star, Dead at 52
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