Original Heat player 'Pearl' Washington dies

College hoops legend selected by Heat in Expansion Draft


MIAMI – Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, an original member of the Miami Heat and a college basketball legend, has died at the age of 52.

Washington, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, passed away early Wednesday.

In 1988, the Miami Heat selected Washington in the NBA Expansion Draft prior to the franchise's first season.

Following a stellar career with Syracuse University, the New Jersey Nets selected Washington in the first round of the 1986 NBA Draft.  But in his first two seasons in the league, Washington averaged just nine points per game.

Washington played just 54 games with the Heat before being released, ending his NBA career.

Following his playing days, Washington returned to Syracuse to complete his degree and was working towards a master's degree in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.