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Orlando Woolridge passes away at the age of 52

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Orlando Woolridge swoops toward the basket against Detroit in 1984 (Getty Images)

Former NBA forward Orlando Woolridge, apparently under hospice care for a heart condition in the recent months, died on Thursday. The former Bulls, Nets, Lakers, Nuggets, Pistons, Bucks and 76ers forward was 52. The Notre Dame product averaged 16 points per game in just 28 minutes a contest over his 13-year NBA career.

Woolridge was one of the more powerful dunkers in NBA history, an impressive leaper with good enough touch to be expected to rank amongst the NBA's top scorers upon his jump from Notre Dame to the NBA in 1981. Woolridge teamed with Ennis Whatley to form one of the NBA's earliest go-to alley-oop duos, and he was the leading scorer on the 1983-84 Bulls, the last Bulls team for a decade that did not feature Michael Jordan as its top points per game performer. The self-described "black Curt Gowdy" was an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, and the cousin of NBA Hall of Famer Willis Reed.

A video of Woolridge's exploits in the classic 1985 NBA Slam Dunk contest follows after the jump.

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