Sister takes hoops to a heavenly place

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March 30, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt cheers for her Ramblers as they defeat Cleveland State on March 2. Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — On the night before Easter, a night when Sister Jean could reasonably be contemplating more consequential affairs, she will instead be festooned in her maroon and yellow letter jacket, sitting in her wheelchair on the floor of one of America’s greatest sports cathedrals, praying for an entirely different sort of miracle.

She’ll be trying to will the underdog, 11th-seeded Ramblers from the Jesuit school of Loyola-Chicago another step along the road to a national championship. It’s a road even the most pious fan wouldn’t have dreamed of a mere three weeks ago.

More than any single player or coach, it is the 98-year-old nun, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, who has left an indelible mark on this year’s NCAA Tournament, with her scouting reports and T-shirt-ready advice — “Worship, work and wisdom” — lending an almost otherworldly credence to the idea that, in sports, anything is possible.

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