Loyola’s 98-year-old superfan inspires her team in NCAA tourney

DALLAS -- The Loyola Ramblers begin their hunt for a NCAA basketball title this afternoon in Dallas.

It’s their first NCAA appearance since 1985, and the Ramblers will be gunning for their first title since 1963.

Loyola’s biggest fan is 98-year-old Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the ball club’s chaplain for more than two decades; she plans to be in the locker room to deliver a pre-game pep talk.

Sister Jean told WGN, the team’s entire season has been emotional and exciting, even though she missed seeing a few games while she was in rehab.

She’s especially impressed with the growth and maturity the players have shown. She says, “They play with their heads and their hearts; they’re together; they like each other, and they just want to keep winning.”

Loyola’s first tournament challenge is the sixth-seeded Miami Hurricanes. Loyola is the 11th seed in its bracket.