Former basketball star Dwayne "Pearl" Washington dead at 52

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, who went from New York City playground wonder to Big East star for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse, has died. He was 52.

Washington died Wednesday of cancer, the university said. He had been coping with medical problems since a brain tumor was first diagnosed in 1995 and recently required around-the-clock medical coverage and a wheelchair to move around.

Washington had surgery last August to address the recurrence of a brain tumor. The first tumor, 21 years ago, was benign.

Current and former players, as well as others associated with the program, rallied in support of Washington during his illness. A GoFundMe page was set up and #PrayersforPearl became the slogan for Syracuse basketball.

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