Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt is the 98-year-old team chaplain for the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, and she’s become something of an avatar for the team as it has made an improbable run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Casey Stern called her “America’s grandma” on Saturday night, and it’s not far from the truth. The nun has made a big splash during March Madness this week, with the camera frequently showing her during games as the Ramblers pull off stunning wins with style.
Jean was part of the story when Loyola-Chicago pulled off the last-second upset over No. 6 Miami on Thursday afternoon, and she was front and center on Saturday night as the Ramblers played No. 3 Tennessee in the second round. It started with her giving Loyola-Chicago a pregame speech where she insisted the team not worry about the size of Tennessee.
Seriously, it’s really fun to see her cheer on this underdog.
It wasn’t all fun and games, though, as the Ramblers blew a decent-sized lead in the final minutes and were actually trailing before Clayton Custer hit the winning shot in the final seconds. Check out her serious face here.
those that are wondering if there’s some divine intervention with the Ramblers could certainly point to Custer’s last shot, which hung in the air for an eternity after hitting the front of the rim. But no matter. But look at Sister Jean celebrate the big win!
She even got her own postgame interview after the Ramblers pulled off the win.
The touching thing here is that the players really do seem to appreciate her. Look at how they all greeted her after the game. She’s even giving them scouting reports, according to reporters.
The bad news for the Ramblers is that Sister Jean only picked them to go as far as the Sweet 16, which means their run might be over. But as Clayton Custer said after the win, they’ll just have to prove her wrong.