While March Madness in full effect, college basketball fans were treated to a stunner when No. 11 Loyola-Chicago beat No. 6 Miami in an upset on Thursday.
But while there were thousands of Chicagoans celebrating the win last night, likely none were as happy as 98-year-old Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, who waited a whole 33 years to see her team win a game in the NCAA Tournament. She has been chaplain of the Ramblers more than two decades, according to the Chicago Tribune. Sister Jean regularly prays with the team before games, and players have even thought of her as another coach thanks to her dishing out tips on how to deal with opposing players.
“She knows her stuff. She’s on it,” senior guard Donte Ingram told the Tribune. “She’s not just here to clap, but she also lifts you up. There’s times I didn’t play up to my abilities, and Sister Jean will be like, ‘You’ll get them next time, Donte.’ ”
Speaking with TruTV after the Ramblers beat the Hurricanes 64–62, Sister Jean couldn’t hold back her excitement.
“Thank God, thank God you did it because we knew we would do it, ” she said. “When we were in the locker room ahead of the game, we just knew we would do this. Our team is so great, and we don’t care who makes the points as long as we win the game.”
She added: “I said, ‘We’re gonna get the big W up there,’ and we did.’ “
After getting some spotlight during the big game, Barack Obama gave a shout out to the nun while giving himself some props about picking Loyola-Chicago over Miami.
“Congrats to @LoyolaChicago and Sister Jean for a last-second upset,” former president Obama wrote on Twitter. “I had faith in my pick!”
Even so, Loyola-Chicago is up against Tennessee in the second round, and Obama has picked Tennessee to move on. Ask Sister Jean, and she’ll likely have faith in her Ramblers to get the ‘W’ another time and move one step closer on their quest to the championship game on April 2.