Woolridge, 52, passes away in Louisiana
Former NBA star Orlando Woolridge, 52, died Thursday night because of complications from a chronic heart condition.
Woolridge, who played 15 pro basketball seasons, was pronounced dead at his parents’ Mansfield, La., home.
He had been under hospice care, Desoto Parish Chief Deputy Coroner Billy Locke said.
The 6-9 Woolridge averaged 16.0 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. He was first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls and later played for the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers from 1981-94. He also played in Italy for Benetton Treviso and Buckler Bologna.
Woolridge was second-team all-American as a senior at Notre Dame, which he helped lead to the 1978 Final Four.
After he retired, Woolridge went into coaching. He was the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA for two seasons (1998-99) and coached two American Basketball Association franchises.
His career was marred by a 1987-88 suspension for substance abuse.
Also, DeSoto Parish deputies said in February, Woolridge was arrested for theft of more than $1,500 for stealing aluminum water lines.