Sister Jean’s Road to the Final Four

Emily Vinson, Pantherbook Writer

This year in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, the most talked-about person isn’t a player or a coach.

Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, better known as simply, “Sister Jean,” has quickly risen to fame as Loyola-Chicago’s 98-year-old chaplain. She has been the chaplain there since 1994. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago has made the Final Four, but not before upsetting No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas St. In all of these exciting games, Sister Jean has been on the sidelines, cheering on her favorite team in her yellow and maroon scarf and Loyola-Chicago gear. Despite recovering from a broken hip, she has traveled from her campus dorm in Chicago, where she lives, to St. Louis to Dallas to Atlanta so far to watch the team.

There’s no doubt Sister Jean will be with the LoSister Jean
yola-Chicago team in San Antonio, Texas for the Final Four. Loyola ties the record for the lowest seed to ever reach the Final Four, accompanied by LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, and VCU in 2011. The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers last reached the Final Four in 1963, when they won it all.

At the end of each game, the players give Sister Jean a hug. She knows the players by name and has close relationships with them. She even sends them emails with individual messages to each player after each game. Her spirit and love for the team has inspired the players and many around the world. Sister Jean’s motto is, “Worship. Work. Win.” Bobbleheads are even being sold with Sister Jean’s face on them. A basketball fan or not, Sister Jean’s story is sure to inspire all.

Tune in on Saturday, March 31, to watch the No. 11 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers take on the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines in the battle for a spot in the Championship game. Be sure to look out for Sister Jean!