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Jim Boeheim, Mike Hopkins, And Others Reflect On Life Of Pearl Washington

A good debate can be had whether Pearl Washington is the greatest point guard in Syracuse history. The fan base is largely split between him and his successor at the position, Sherman Douglas. What can't be debated is Washington's impact on Jim Boeheim's program. The Brooklyn native was a New York City basketball legend and the top recruit in the nation when he chose Syracuse, and his arrival coincided with the opening of the massive Carrier Dome, which remains the largest on-campus basketball venue in college basketball. Pearl was one of the Big East's first superstars, and his battles with guys like Georgetown's Patrick Ewing helped turn the league into a basketball power.

With Pearl's passing this morning, there has been an amazing deluge of tweets remembering the legendary Orangeman. Jim Boeheim shared some thoughts on his seldom-used Twitter feed.

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He went into more detail on Pearl's impact with Syracuse.com's Mike Waters.

"He was one of a kind,'' Boeheim said of Washington. "They don't come along like him very often. There's never been another one like him.''

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"There was the excitement that he brought to the league and our program,'' Boeheim said. "It was the most exciting time. Everywhere you went around the country, people wanted to talk about Pearl. They'd talk about the league and (Georgetown center) Patrick (Ewing), but they really wanted to talk about Pearl.''

Boeheim said Washington always had an aura about him on the court. He remembered recruiting Washington, who had been a playground legend in Brooklyn and a star at Boys & Girls High School.

"I'd never seen anything like him,'' Boeheim said. "I haven't seen anything like him since. Probably never will.''

Syracuse assistant and head coach-in-waiting Mike Hopkins went into great detail about how Pearl inspired him as a basketball player, and helped guide him to Syracuse.

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Syracuse legend and assistant coach Gerry McNamara:

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Many others from within the Syracuse basketball community and the larger college basketball world have also weighed in with their thoughts and memories of Pearl.

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">@BIGEAST

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops)

RIP "Pearl" Washington.Vividly remember watching him in high school as a senior.His games were not games but events.He changed the @BIGEAST

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) April 20, 2016

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">@MikeWatersSYR

— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria)

"If heaven truly is a playground, then Pearl's probably playing on God's home court right now." Great line from @MikeWatersSYR

— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 20, 2016

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Boston Globe Celtics writer Adam Himmelsbach shared an amazing story about working with Pearl at the Syracuse parks department.