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Woolridge, Ainge live on in BYU history

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When I saw the news a few days ago in the Deseret News that Orlando Woolridge had passed away, I immediately thought of one thing: Danny Ainge's dash.

Many will recall Woolridge for his multi-stop NBA career, or his suspension for violating the league's drug policy, but for anyone who follows BYU basketball closely, Woolridge is an unforgettable image. He was the Tracy Stallard, so to speak, of Cougar basketball lore. Stallard was the Boston pitcher who gave up Roger Maris' 61st home run and Woolridge was the Notre Dame player who almost blocked Danny Ainge's shot in 1981 that sent the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament's Elite eight.

If you don't remember, or weren't alive, here's the drive:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXyhmnVwhKYWoolridge said after that game, I thought...Dang, it's over. Not just the game. My college career. It's strange to see it all snap everything in six seconds. At first I just wanted to run out of the place. But then I knew I had to keep my composure and congratulate the other team.

Irish coach Digger Phelps said, We tried to stop him. But he's just too good an athlete. He reads so well that he just went to the opposite direction, got the ball and took it down the floor, right through five people.

At any rate, Woolridge is one of those athletes inextricably tied to another team and another player's history. As long as Ainge's story lives, so will Woolridge.