When the Syracuse Orange tip off on Saturday against their old Big East foe the Georgetown Hoyas, there will be a lot more on the minds of players and fans than just this year's meeting. That's because the Orange are set to pay respect to Syracuse great Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, who passed away in April at the age of 52.
On Tuesday, the team announced via Twitter that the Orange will wear a special edition team sneaker as part of the homage at the Carrier Dome. The sneakers have the words "31 Pearl" inscribed on the tongue of the shoe. Syracuse has also been wearing "Pearl" warm-up shirts for a number of months, but the shoes will stay on for the bout the Hoyas.
The tribute to Pearl — who is one of the most recognizable figures in Syracuse sports lore — will take also take a number of other forms, according to info from Syracuse Athletics:
- A "31" logo will be affixed to one of the Jim Boeheim Court sidelines, at approximately the same spot where Washington made his miraculous half-court shot to defeat Boston College on Jan. 21, 1984.
- A limited number of $31 seats will be made available for purchase.
- Syracuse students who have purchased season tickets will be able to secure their seat for the Georgetown game — despite it not being part of the student season-ticket package. Fall semester exams will have been completed at the time and students will be on break.
- Special back-court activities that associate with Pearl Washington's legacy at Syracuse will be available for fans to participate in.
The game will be televised at noon ET on ESPN.