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Pearl Washington, New York City Playground Legend, Syracuse Star, Dies At 52

Pearl Washington, New York City Playground Legend, Syracuse Star, Dies At 52

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — 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.

Washington was not particularly fast, nor could he jump particularly high. Neither mattered — he simply excited fans with his amazing ball-handling skills, an uncanny court sense, elusiveness, and the ability to pull off unbelievable plays at the right time.

His signature move was the crossover dribble — the "shake-and-bake" — that froze defenders, then a drive to the hoop for an easy layup past the defense's big...

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