Congrats to Drexel nation, because y’all are going dancing for the first time since 1996.
It’s a great local story. OUT OF NOWHERE, here comes Zach Spiker’s team, to win four-straight games, claim the conference tournament, and earn a March Madness berth at 12-7.
You have to give a lot of credit to a team that was not expected to do much this year. Not only did they play in empty arenas, with few media outlets paying attention, but they navigated three separate batches of cancelled games, successfully dealt with the start/stop nature of the season, and then played their best basketball late, when it really mattered. This will be a fun underdog story that the objective Philadelphia sports fan should appreciate, even if you went to Nova or Temple and hate the other “City 6” teams, or whatever.
In honor of the Dragons going dancing, we’re using this space to highlight ten famous Drexel Dragons, though not in any particular order.
The basketball program’s most famous alumnus, Rose was on the 1996 team that won 27 games and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He later went on to play 10+ years in the NBA and served as the Sixers’ color commentator for a brief spell. Rose is a Philly native and went to Overbrook High School.
A Downingtown native, Parke played soccer for the Dragons from 2000 to 2003, logging 68 games and scoring seven goals as a defender.
He was drafted by the New York Red Bulls and went on to make more than 250 MLS appearances, winning a pair of U.S. Open Cups with the Seattle Sounders. Parke played one season for his hometown Union, in 2013, and made a single appearance for the United States national team.
Dr. Pimple Popper
Now here’s a technicality.
Sandra Lee, more famously known as “Dr. Pimple Popper,” went to medical school here in Philadelphia.
However, she graduated from MCP Hahnemann in 1998, just before it integrated with Drexel University. So while she is not technically a Dragon, we are going to put an asterisk on this entry and award Dr. Lee with an honorary categorization as a Drexel alumna.
Can you eat and watch pimple popping? 🤔 #drpimplepopper
— Dr Pimple Popper (@SandraLeeMD) March 2, 2021
I know that some Dragons are down on Lee because of his 2015 transfer to Louisville, but he was really good when played here, and gave four seasons to the program.
In the 2014-2015 season, he averaged 21.4 points per game, and was a freshman starter on the 2011-2012 squad which won 29 games and made it to the third round of the NIT tournament.
Lee made it to the NBA and is currently playing for the Warriors.
An NBC Sports Philadelphia and FOX 29 alumna, Colleen Wolfe’s star has risen in meteoric fashion.
It’s actually kind of an underrated story, isn’t it? Not only did she advance to a national media role, but she’s working for the NFL Network, and doing a damn good job. I’m not sure what NBCSP or FOX 29 were doing from a talent evaluation perspective, but it’s intriguing how she didn’t have a prominent local role and is now a national superstar.
ESPN’s veteran journalist.
McKendry is a Delaware Valley native who went to Archbishop Ryan and then attended Drexel on a tennis scholarship. She used to anchor Sports Center back in the day, and served in a variety of roles, from sideline reporter to covering the spelling bee and other unique assignments. Now you’ll find her exclusively anchoring the network’s tennis coverage.
The guy who created Boscov’s is a Dragon. For real. He’s a Reading native who studied business.
My mom absolutely loves the Boscov’s at the Coventry Mall. We went there something like 25 times a year. I think it’s still there. They even had this badass parking lot on the roof of the store, which felt very advanced for the Pottstown region circa 2001.
Chuck Barris! The guy who hosted The Gong Show and also created The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game.
Barris died a few years ago, at age 87. He was a Philly native and 1953 graduate who did all kinds of creative things during his lifetime, some successful and others not so successful. But his portfolio was certainly expansive.
He’s a music producer. Delco guy who studied engineering at Drexel (shocker) and then went on to work with all sorts of famous artists, like Santana, Halestorm, Seether, Three Day’s Grace, Motorhead, and Sepultura.
Benson was involved with the creation of Kelly Clarkson’s 2013 album, Stonger, which went on to win a Grammy. He’s also been nominated by the Recording Academy as Producer of the Year, once in 2007 and again in 2008.
A NASA astronaut and former U.S. Navy Captain.
Ferguson was the commander for missions on Atlantis and Endeavour, up until the space shuttle program was shut down about 10 years ago. He went to Archbishop Ryan and earned a mechanical engineering degree from Drexel in 1984.
(there are many great Dragons who did not make the list, and perhaps we can highlight them at some point in the future)