June 2, 2012- Orlando Woolridge was a power forward who made a reputation as being a great scorer during his 13-year career in the NBA. He was one of the first players become an artist in the alley-oop dunk. Late Thursday night, Woolridge passed away in Louisiana, at the home of his parents.
Billy Locke, the Chief Deputy Coroner for DeSoto Parish said that Woolridge had a chronic heart condition and had been in hospice care. In 1981, the six foot nine inch Woolridge was selected sixth overall in the NBA draft by Chicago. He had stared at Mansfield High in Louisiana and then at Notre Dame.
He became famous for his thunderous dunks. While in the NBA, he played for Chicago, the LA Lakers, New Jersey, Denver, Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee. During his career, he averaged just 28 minutes per game, but was able to maintain a career average of 16 points per game. He was considered a key in his team’s offense regardless if he started or came in as a substitute.
In 1985, he was part of what is still considered the most amazing dunk contest of all time. He competed with Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan among others.
Tiana, Renaldo and Zachary, his three children; Mattie and Marnceen, his parents; Dr. Vanessa Woolridge Duplessis, his sister; Darren Duplessis, his brother-in-law and Nigel Duplessis, his nephew, survive Woolridge.