“Our Good Friday gets even better!”
With that introduction, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt kicked off Friday’s Final Four events at the Alamo Dome, answering questions for a room packed with reporters.
Loyola-Chicago’s 98-year-old team chaplain is clearing the darling of the dance.
“I can’t believe it,” she said. “Even in the morning I wake up and say, ‘Is this real or is this a dream?’ And I say, ‘No it’s really real,’ and it’s very real for me to see you, but not so many at a time!”
Long-time NCAA staffers say they’ve never seen anything like it. Sister Jean’s session in San Antonio drew triple the usual media crowd. Sister Jean says she’s happy to be here, soaking it in, while maintaining she’s not the sole secret to Loyola’s success.
“It all depends on how hard you work for it, too. We have a little slogan that we say – worship, work and win,” she said.
Among her other pearls of wisdom: Yes, God cares about basketball, and really about the college version more than the NBA. Why? “These young players are playing for their hearts, and not for any financial assistance,” she says.
Since Sister Jean seems to have the power of prayerful persuasion mastered, would she chip in a little prayer for the Jayhawks?
“I like to pray for both teams (in a game) so that, especially the fans who might hear me know that I’m partly on one side, but only partly because at the end of the prayer I always ask God to be sure that the scoreboard indicates that the Ramblers have the big W!” she said.
SOURCE: AP / WIBW