CHICAGO - Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt was considered to be Loyola-Chicago’s good luck charm when the Ramblers made it to the Final Four during the 2018 men’s basketball tournament and she hopes to work her magic once again.
The 101-year-old Loyola chaplain told the Chicago Tribune she's received approval from the NCAA to travel to Indianapolis for the team's first-round matchup with Georgia Tech on Friday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Coronavirus restrictions limiting fan attendance and who can travel with teams to Indiana for the tournament left Sister Jean's status in question. Sister Jean has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
"They said there’s restrictions," she told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday. "You can’t run down on the court. You can’t talk to the young men. I said, ’I’m not going to run down on the court, and I’m not going to cause any disturbance.’ I said, ‘I won’t do things I’m not supposed to.’"
She said she understands that her contact with the players would be limited as the tournament is set to take place in a bubble environment.
"Everything will be fine. I’ve been (attending games) for so many years, ever since we’ve been in the Valley. Even the last three years, I’ve been in a wheelchair and we’ve managed (being safe at games)," she told the Tribune.
Sister Jean said she’s followed the Ramblers all-season long even watching the live box scores when she didn’t have access to whatever channel the team would appear on.
Loyola used her as an inspiration to get through the Missouri Valley Conference tournament this season. The Ramblers won the tournament and received an automatic bid to the Big Dance.
Loyola return as the No. 8 seed this year, and could face top-seeded Illinois in the second round.
FOX News contributed to this report.