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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in Bernice, Louisiana, USA
Died in Mansfield, Louisiana, USA  (chronic heart condition)
Birth NameOrlando Vernada Woolridge
Height 6' 9" (2.06 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Woolridge starred for Notre Dame where he played for four seasons under Coach Digger Phelps, who said that Woolridge's cousin Willis Reed, a Hall of Fame center for the Knicks, had recommended him. He helped the Fighting Irish reach the NCAA Tournament in each of his four collegiate seasons, including the Final Four as a freshman in 1978. One of his defining moments came during his senior year at Notre Dame when he hit a jump shot at the buzzer to beat No. 1-ranked Virginia on national television, ending the Cavaliers' 28-game winning streak. His professional career began in 1981 when he was drafted in the first round, sixth overall by the Chicago Bulls. Known for his high-flying dunks and ability to throw down lob passes, Woolridge played 13 seasons in the NBA for the Bulls, Lakers, Nets, 76ers, Nuggets, Bucks, Pistons and spent his final two seasons playing in Italy. During the 1987-88 season, he was with the New Jersey Nets when he told the NBA he had a cocaine problem. He was suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and he was signed by the Lakers after completing a drug rehabilitation program in Van Nuys. He retired in 1996 and coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association in the late 1990s and was the first former N.B.A. player to coach in that league and was named the Sparks' interim head coach in 1998, led them to a 20-12 record in 1999 with the interim label removed. It was the team's best mark in its three-year history, but he was fired at the season's end for what management called philosophical differences.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: K.P. Manning

Spouse (1)

? (? - ?) (divorced) (4 children)

Trivia (6)

Forward for Chicago Bulls (1981-1986) New Jersey Nets (1986-1988) Los Angeles Lakers (1988-1990) Denver Nuggets (1990-1991) Detroit Pistons (1991-1993) Milwaukee Bucks (1993) and Philadelphia 76ers (1993-1994).
#6 overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1981 out of Notre Dame.
He is survived by his parents, Larnceen Woolridge and Mattie Woolridge of Mansfield, Louisana; sons, Renaldo Woolridge (Tennessee basketball player), Zachary Woolridge (Princeton basketball player), and Royce Woolridge (Kansas basketball player); a daughter, Tiana Woolridge (a women's volleyball player at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey); a sister, Vanessa Woolridge Duplessis.
Cousin of basketball player, Willis Reed and Natasha Watley, an Olympic Gold Medal winner in Women's softball.
He coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association in the late 1990s. He was Sparks interim head coach in 1998 and coach in 1999.
He played for the University of Notre Dame for four seasons in Indiana under Coach Digger before he went to play to the Chicago Bulls in 1981 with Michael Jordan for five seasons. He played with Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles, Lakers. He also played for the New Jersey Nets from 1986 to 1987. He left in 1988 because of a cocaine addiction.

Personal Quotes (2)

I was an offensive minded player because that's what I did. But I was always a student of the game from an analytical perspective. My defensive principles are very sound. Maybe I might not have used them on the court, but they do work.
I just love it when we go up in the transition game, up and down the court, Magic looking for the open guy. I get excited when we start playing like that. That's the way I love playing.

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