SAN ANTONIO – When the Final Four is over and the last team standing is holding up the national championship trophy, college basketball fans will more than likely remember Loyola-Chicago’s team chaplain Sister Jean, than the NCAA champion from this year’s tournament.
Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt became a worldwide celebrity ever since the 11th seed Loyola-Chicago drained a buzzer-beater in the first round, upsetting sixth-seed Miami University, 64-62.
The fame for the 98-year-old superstar rose so fast that Sister Jean had to license her name and image for Loyola-Chicago University to sell merchandise.
Sister Jean has been featured on a variety of fan gear such as T-shirts, bobbleheads and even socks.
The National Bobblehead Hall Of Fame and Museum said in just 48 hours, the Sister Jean bobblehead was their best-selling item ever, with more than 5,000 preorders.
“It’s overwhelming to me, and my bobblehead … I think the company could retire when they’re finished making these bobbleheads,” Sister Jean said.
The guys at the @BobbleheadHall have made about 500 different bobbleheads over the last 3 years.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 25, 2018
Their Sister Jean bobblehead in just 30 hours on sale is now their best seller (3,100+ sold) pic.twitter.com/Q5pCMqfhW5
In her only press conference for the entire Final Four weekend, Sister Jean strolled in Friday, smiling and waving to a room filled of media members. Some even waited close to an hour just to nab a perfect spot.
“I can’t believe it. Even in the morning, I wake up and I say, ‘Is this real or is it a dream?’ And I say, ‘No, it’s really for real.’ It’s very real for me to see you (media), but not so many at a time, and I’m excited about it.”
For senior guard Donte Ingram, who nailed the 35-foot buzzer beater against Miami, Sister Jean has been with the team since day one and also serves like “another assistant coach, giving us scouting reports on players and who to look out for.”
“She prays with us before the game and is emailing us after the games -- win or loss,” Ingram said. “She is very supportive and guys needs that. She always finds a way to pick me up in what she tells me.”
Senior forward Aundre Jackson, who is also a Texas native from Kennedale, said the attention Sister Jean has been receiving has been "kind of funny."
"She’s always in our arena sitting on the side and playing with us and just chilling before the game, but to see her get all this attention has been great for her. I know she’s enjoying it," Jackson said.
For Michigan basketball fans, however, the attention comes with friendly trash talk especially for ESPN personality and former Wolverine player Jalen Rose’s grandmother.
In a video sent on his Twitter page, Rose’s 100-year-old grandma, Mary Belle Hicks, calls out Sister Jean, saying, “It’s been a good ride, but it’s over Saturday. Go Blue! 100.”
In response to the trash talk, the nun said she saw the video on Facebook and also heard Hicks was out to get her.
“Somebody said, ‘Maybe you need a pair of boxing gloves,’ and I said, “Well, we’ll see what happens.’ I hope we see each other. I hope we meet there (at the Alamodome). I love to meet people,” Sister Jean said.
✌🏾☝🏾👌🏾: Hey @JalenRose, here's @RamblersMBB #SisterJean response to your grandmother's message😂 When asked if she needs a pair of boxing gloves from someone, her response, "Well, we'll see what happens." Lol. #KSATnews #Loyola #FinalFour2018 #SanAntonio #FinalFour pic.twitter.com/G4z5QytX2e— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) March 30, 2018
For the last question of her 15-minute press conference, Sister Jean was asked if she’s ever had more fun than what she’s having right now, and she responded, “This is the most fun I’ve had in my life.”
“This is the most fun I’ve had in my life” - 98-year-old Sister Jean pic.twitter.com/3Wp2UpRPY2— KSAT Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) March 30, 2018
“It is just so much fun for me to be here, and I almost didn’t get here, but I fought hard enough to do that because I wanted to be with the guys,” she said.
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WATCH: Sister Jean addresses media before Loyola Chicago game!
WATCH: Sister Jean will address the media as Loyola Chicago prepares for its Final Four game at the Alamodome. Click here for more information on the Final Four-->https://www.ksat.com/sports/college-basketballPosted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Friday, March 30, 2018