Senior Sarah Pearson has found a way to balance academia, two sports at the Division III level – basketball and volleyball – and a social life here at Simpson. But what’s more important to her teammates is her leadership. They showed their appreciation by choosing Pearson, who plays center, to be a co-captain of the women’s basketball team.
“I just try to set a good example by working hard in practice, being supportive of my teammates and pushing my teammates and myself to get better every day,” Pearson said.
The 5’11” co-captain pushes herself off the court too, maintaining a 3.5 GPA as a accounting major with minors in math and management.
Women’s head basketball coach Brian Niemuth relies on Pearson to be a liaison between the team and the coaching staff.
“It’s important to have good leadership,” Niemuth said. “Being a captain is more than just going out before the tip-off and talking to the officials. There’s a lot of work that comes with the leadership position, and our captains have done a great job with it so far. Sarah has [set] a good example for the younger players.”
Niemuth said Pearson’s teammates feel comfortable talking with her when basketball gets them down or if they’ve had a rough day in practice.
Freshman basketball player Jemi Kuberski can vouch for that. Kuberski said it’s easy to talk to Pearson.
“Sarah is a really positive leader for the team,” Kuberski said. “She is well-respected among all the underclassmen, and she is somebody who is willing to take the time to help us out whenever possible.”
Pearson knows what it’s like to have someone take the time to help her out. She played basketball and volleyball in high school, and her high-school coach helped her decide to play the two sports at the college level.
Because she wanted to play two sports, she decided to go to a Division III school, and after visiting 15 schools she finally decided on Simpson.
Pearson’s statistics at Simpson prove her success. Pearson has been named Iowa Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, and she is currently second on the team in rebounding and fifth in scoring.
Pearson’s career high in points at Simpson is 19. Her high in rebounds is 12.
Her goals for the year include winning the conference championship and making it to the national tournament.
“It’s hard to say this early, but this year I think we are going to have better composure,” Pearson said about the team playing in the national tournament. “This time we’re going to be ready to play.”
The team plays William Penn on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. in Osklaoosa.