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Former Laker Orlando Woolridge dies

Orlando Woolridge, who played two of his 13 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers, died, the Shreveport Times reported. He was 52.

June 01, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Orlando Woolridge goes up for a basket during the 1989-1990 season.
Orlando Woolridge goes up for a basket during the 1989-1990 season. (Getty Images )

Orlando Woolridge, who played two of his 13 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers, died Friday, the Shreveport Times reported. He was 52.

According to the report, Woolridge had been under hospice care for a chronic heart condition at his parents' home in Mansfield, La. 

In his college career, Woolridge was best known for his role in helping Notre Dame reach the Final Four in 1978 as a freshman. As a senior, his last-second jumper snapped the 28-game winning streak top-ranked Virginia then held.

Professionally, Woolridge is strongly linked with the Chicago Bulls, whom drafted him sixth overall in 1981. He played in the Windy City for five seasons and averaged 22.9 points per game in the 1984-85 campaign, which also marked Michael Jordan's rookie year.

But Woolridge also had ties to the Lakers. After serving a suspension in 1987 for violating the NBA's substance-abuse policy, Woolridge joined the Lakers for the 1988-89 season and soon provided a consistent presence off the bench through two seasons in 136 total games.

He averaged 11 points per game in that two-year span and proved reliable around the basket. Woolridge also shot 55.6% from the field in the 1989-90 season, which ranked fifth in the league.

After retiring as a player, Woolridge also had a brief stint as the head coach for the WNBA's Sparks in the 1998-99 season.

RELATED:

All Things Lakers: Orlando Woolridge

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com. Follow the Lakers blog on Twitter.

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