Drexel women trust in trio of childhood friends


The motto for Drexel women’s basketball this season is “trust.” That is something Rachel Pearson, Meghan Creighton and Sarah Curran know well.

The three upperclassmen played together in high school, have been playing together in college, live together and are virtually inseparable.

“We pretty much do everything together and I am surprised we are not sick of each other yet,” said Pearson, a senior guard, laughing at the thought.

Pearson and Creighton arrived at Drexel in 2012 and grew up together in the Philadelphia suburb of West Chester. They have been playing basketball together since fifth grade. The duo became a trio when Curran, a year younger and from nearby Media, met Pearson and Creighton at Archbishop Carroll High School.

All three had tremendous success at Carroll winning Philadelphia Catholic League and Pennsylvania state championships. Pearson was the first to commit to Drexel with Creighton doing so a day later, though it was not a case of follow the leader.

“We were not a package deal,” said Creighton, a redshirt junior point guard whose 2014-15 season was limited to seven games due to a knee injury and was given the additional year of eligibility. “Rachel committed one day before I did and we made our choices separately. I am glad we made the same choice.”

Curran, a junior forward, knew she was headed for Drexel. As with Pearson and Creighton, it was the entire package the Philadelphia-based university offered that made her decision easy.

“It was an easy decision, but not because Rachel and Meghan were here, which is what a lot of people think,” said Curran. “Drexel runs a lot of the same system we did at Carroll, it is close to home so my family can come see me play and the academics are outstanding. Having Meghan and Rachel here was a huge bonus.”

Having the three together has been huge for coach Denise Dillon, who is in her 13th season guiding the Dragons. The camaraderie and instinct Pearson, Creighton and Curran possess is noticeable.

“The No. 1 thing I would say about them individually and collectively is that they work hard at everything they do on and off the court,” said Dillon, who had a hall-of-fame playing career at Villanova. “They are consistent with their actions and their attitudes and they have no agenda.”

They also have a deep, well, trust in each other.

“They know what each other is going to do,” said Dillon. “They really trust each other on the floor and they know they can count on that and that the other person will do whatever it takes to look good.”

Looking good has not been a problem. Among their honors Pearson was named to the 2015 CAA All-Second Team and she and Creighton were 2014 all-conference academic members. Creighton was part of the 2013 CAA All-Rookie Team while Curran earned all-rookie nomination in 2014 and was a first-teamer a season ago.

Creighton is considered the natural leader of the three, something that goes with the territory being a point guard. She raises her voice if need be and when she does she knows there will be no ill feelings.

“I have known Rachel and Sarah forever, so I know I can yell at them and they know that I still love them,” she said. “‘Close’ is the right way to describe us. We are great friends on and off the floor, and on the court I just have to tell them what to do and when to do it.”

Not that they often need to be told. Through the years of playing together at multiple levels some things simply come natural.

“We joke that we know where each other is going to be on the floor before they are actually there,” said Pearson. “I know what they are going to do and I can always depend on them. Off the court it has been great. I know I can always count on them if I need some advice about anything.”

Curran grew close to Pearson and Creighton as a freshman in high school. Even after her friends left for Drexel she kept the bond between the three of them strong by frequently visiting Pearson and Creighton at practice or elsewhere around the university.

“I am the baby among us and it is definitely nice to go to them if I need anything and they know they can come to me if they need anything,” she said. “We can come home from a bad practice or a bad game and we do not have to talk basketball. We can let it go and focus on something else. We know we have each other’s back no matter what.”

That is something that will likely be the case long after they have left Drexel.

Above: Drexel’s Rachel Pearson, Sarah Curran and Meghan Creighton, from left. (Courtesy of Drexel Athletics)
Tom Layberger

Tom Layberger

Tom Layberger is a freelance writer based in Glen Mills, Pa.