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Syracuse going all-in on Pearl Washington celebration

Players will wear Pearl-themed shoes as SU ramps up the promotions

Syracuse Athletics

On Saturday, the Syracuse Orange will host the hated Georgetown Hoyas but that’s almost secondary to everything SU is doing to promote the game. The draw is instead the planned celebration of Pearl Washington’s life before and during. There are a slew of planned events and promotions but just to get you up to speed on everything, we’ve compiled below.


Go to Kinney Drugs and purchase a Pearl Washington 'mini-jerseys' for $1, sign their name or a message to it, and have it be displayed in that Kinney Drugs location. 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to pediatric cancer research through the Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation.

Syracuse has priced tickets as low as $31 in honor of Pearl and to help with their effort to get at least 31,000 in the Carrier Dome for the big game.

If you want to make a donation, you can head to the Honoring Pearl Washington website and give $31 or more to the Pearl Washington Endowed Fund for Continuing Education. You will receive a commemorative window cling (though we’ve heard from multiple people that they did not actually receive a cling for donating, so if you’re gonna do it, do it expecting nothing).

If you want to purchase the long-sleeve Pearl shirt that the players have been wearing, you can do so here on through the SU bookstore (and other retailers, we assume). A “portion of the proceeds from the sale” of this shirt supports the Pearl Washington Endowed Fund for Continuing Education, but that percentage is unclear.


Syracuse students with season tickets will be able to attend the Georgetown game as usual, even though it wasn’t originally part of the student season-ticket package.

Keep an eye out for special Pearl-themed kicks that the Orange will be wearing during the game

There will be a halftime ceremony honoring Pearl. A half-court shooting contest will be held to commemorate Pearl’s buzzer-beater against Boston College. There will also be in-game video highlights and chances to win the ‘Pearl’ warm-up shirts that the SU players wear during warmups. All fans who show up will also receive a commemorative Pearl Washington jersey pin and a magnet.

A "31" logo will be affixed to one of the Jim Boeheim Court sidelines at about the same spot where Washington made his half-court shot to defeat Boston College.

Pearl’s fiancee, Debra Busacco, will be on hand for the celebration.

"Pearl would want me to be smiling and move on with my life and build from here," she said in a Monday telephone conversation. "I have tough days. But I want to say that for the past two weeks, I've been keeping positive and knowing that this is a joyful, sort of bittersweet time."