Orlando Woolridge dead at 52
ESPN.com news services
Updated: June 2, 2012, 9:50 PM ET
Orlando Woolridge, the rugged forward who carved out a reputation over 13 NBA seasons as a scoring specialist and one of the original alley-oop artists, died late Thursday at his parents' home in Mansfield, La. He was 52.
DeSoto Parish Chief Deputy Coroner Billy Locke said Woolridge died while under hospice care for a chronic heart condition.
"He's been sick for quite a while, about a year," Woolridge's mother, Mattie Woolridge, told ESPNChicago.com's Melissa Isaacson. "During that time, he has had two heart attacks and he couldn't hold a job because of his heart.
"He did a lot of fishing, which he loved and throwing that rod and reel would help, but he was so miserable, it was best. His heart wasn't beating at an adequate speed so therefore he was short-winded, but he was a good guy. He said 'Mom, I thought I'd live at least 'til 55.' "
As a youngster, I remember watching him play. I can recall his last second buzzer beater against Ralph Sampson and Virginia to halt their 28 game win streak. I feel old today.
RIP Orlando Woolridge