Syracuse legend Pearl Washington scheduled for brain surgery this week

Pearl Washington is among the most beloved players in Syracuse history. (USATSI)

A Syracuse basketball legend is fighting a brain tumor. His friends are asking for prayers as he prepares for surgery on Thursday.

Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, one of the best players in the history of the Big East, is scheduled to have his brain operated on at Syracuse’s Crouse Hospital later this week, according to the Post-Standard of Syracuse. The tumor in his brain has gone through a relapse; it was previously diagnosed 20 years ago. A friend of Washington’s is quoted in the Post-Standard story describing Washington as a “very private” person who has not tried to bring attention to his health battle.

Now 51 years old, Washington, who was the best player for Syracuse in the early/mid 1980s, helping bring his school and the Big East Conference to national prestige and prominence, has been visited by members of the Syracuse program in recent days.

“Many prayers are requested,” [close friend Mark] Finney said. “Pearl has prayed for a lot of people over the years and we’d ask that you please pay back those prayers to Pearl.”

Washington averaged 15.7 points and 6.7 assists in his three seasons with SU. He was taken 13th in the 1986 NBA Draft.

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