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Syracuse Basketball: SU to honor Pearl Washington during Georgetown game

Syracuse’s game against Georgetown now has even more meaning.

pearl washington

The Syracuse Orange will honor the late Dwayne “Pearl” Washington during the school’s men’s basketball game against Georgetown on Dec. 17, Syracuse Athletics announced on Wednesday.

Washington died last April at the age of 52 after losing his battle with brain cancer. He was originally diagnosed with brain cancer in 1995.

The Syracuse legend played for the Orange for three years from 1983-1986 and quickly developed into one of the school’s all-time greats. Washington was named to the All-Big East first team and received All-American honors in each of his three years at Syracuse, before forgoing his final season to enter the NBA Draft where he was taken 13th overall by the New Jersey Nets.

Washington, who was known for his devastating crossover and pin-point passing ability, had many memorable moments during his time at Syracuse, but none more special than his game-winning buzzer beater against No. 16 Boston College in 1984.

Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim, who coached Washington for all three years while he was at Syracuse, has long credited Washington as being one of the key players who helped elevate the school’s basketball program to its current prestige.

“There was no better guy, and there's nobody who has meant more to our basketball program than Dwayne Washington,” Boeheim said in a statement.

In honor of Washington, who wore No. 31 while at Syracuse, the school is holding a 31-day campaign to give fans, alumni and friends of the late point guard an opportunity to help continue Washington’s legacy. Those who visit the Honoring Pearl Washington website and give a donation of $31 or more to the Pearl Washington Endowed Fund for Continuing Education will receive a commemorative window cling.

The fund is being created to support student-athletes who previously left the school and are returning to complete their degrees. Washington, himself, returned to Syracuse following his retirement from the NBA to complete his degree, after receiving financial support from the school.

“Pearl will always be remembered for his athletic prowess, but he touched our hearts in many other ways,” Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said. “This fund is so important, because it rewards the tenacity of individuals like Pearl who utilize their physical talents, but never lose sight of their educational dreams. We can't think of a more fitting way to honor him and hope alumni and friends everywhere will join us in supporting this campaign.”

Syracuse previously released a short video honoring Washington, which you can watch below.