Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, better known to March Madness fans simply as “Sister Jean,” is the inspiration behind a new set of bobbleheads from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.
The organization released the new bobbleheads Friday, two days before the popular nun’s 103rd birthday.
“Everyone needs some of Sister Jean’s positive attitude and great spirit in their life, and this bobblehead will be a great way to have that,” said Phil Sklar, co-founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, in a press release.
Sister Jean became an overnight celebrity during the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament after the team from her school, Loyola University Chicago, shocked the country by making it all the way to the Final Four.
“Dozens of stories from CNN and The New York Times to People magazine and ESPN (sung) the praises of the Catholic sister who accompanied Loyola on their improbable road to the Final Four. But to members of the Loyola community, the rest of the country was just discovering what they’d known for a long time,” a recent story from Loyola Chicago about Sister Jean said.
It noted that Sister Jean didn’t get involved with the school’s basketball team until 1994, right before she was about to retire. Then 75 years old, she agreed to start tutoring players and eventually became the team’s official chaplain.
“Her pre-game prayers and advice to players (have become) a critical part of the team’s success,” the article said.
The Sister Jean bobbleheads released this week “feature a smiling Sister Jean holding a basketball while wearing a Loyola Ramblers jacket,” according to the press release. They cost $20 plus shipping and are expected to be shipped sometime in November.
“A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bobblehead benefit the Loyola Athletic Fund and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” the press release said.