Two iconic careers, and one night of dedication to a pair of Syracuse Orange men’s basketball legends.
Syracuse University announced that two of the Orange’s most recognizable names of the men’s basketball program, head coach Jim Boeheim and former player Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, will be recognized as members of the Syracuse University Athletics Ring of Honor.
To date, coach Boeheim ranks as the winningest active coach in men’s Division I basketball. Boeheim become involved with Syracuse men’s basketball in 1962, serving as a walk-on player and eventual team captain. Boeheim’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant coach in 1969, before becoming SU’s head coach in 1976.
Entering his 47th season of coaching, Boeheim ranks sixth all-time in most wins out of all men’s basketball coaches. During his coaching career, he’s guided the Orange to 34 NCAA Tournament appearances, five Final Fours, three championship title game births, and a national championship in 2003. He also ranks second among coaches in NCAA Tournament appearances, fourth in March Madness victories, and second in 20-win seasons.
Coach Boeheim is known best for his career in the Big East. During the Orange’s time in the Big East under Boeheim, the team finished first in the conference ten times and was Big East champions five times.
Pearl Washington is known best for shining as the star point guard for the Orange during the mid-1980s and helping Boeheim turn the program into a national brand. In three seasons for Syracuse, Washington averaged 15.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. He helped guide the Orange to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including advancing past at least one round in all three seasons. Individually, Washington was named to the All-Big East Conference first-team three times and earned the 1986 Big East Conference tournament Most Valuable Player award.
It’s fitting that Pearl and Boeheim will be honored against Georgetown as their battles with John Thompson, Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas helped launch the Big East into the national spotlight.
For his career, Washington ranks 27th all-time in career points, fourth in assists, and fifth in steals in Syracuse men’s basketball history. After finishing his time with Syracuse, Washington was selected with the 13th pick in the 1986 NBA Draft by the then-New Jersey Nets.
In 1996, Washington’s jersey was retired at the JMA Wireless Dome, making him the third Syracuse player to ever have their jersey hung in the Dome. Washington was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the summer of 2015 before passing away in April 2016.
Jim Boeheim and Pearl Washington will enter the Ring of Honor where they join Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, and Roy Simmons Jr. as honorees.