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Vanderbilt basketball coach wants Sister Jean to ‘stay home’ for game vs. Loyola-Chicago


LoyolaChicago - Twitter

Zelda Caldwell - published on 12/08/21

Jerry Stackhouse jokingly tweeted that the school usually wins when its team chaplain is in the stands.

As the Vanderbilt basketball team prepares to host Loyal-Chicago on on Friday night, coach Jerry Stackhouse is hoping the Ramblers don’t bring Sister Jean with them.

Sister Jean rose to fame during the 2018 NCAA Tournament, where she could be seen court-side, cheering on her team. As the underdog Ramblers made their run to the Final Four, Sister Jean, as team chaplain, received no small part of the credit. Her pre-game pep talks included prayer, plus scouting reports on the opposing team.

In 2018, ESPN recorded one of her pre-game rallies:

“Don’t let the refs get under your skin,” she continues. “Hold those hands up so they don’t think you made a foul. If somebody flops on the floor, just ignore them.” There are smiles among the players as she sends them onto the court: “Good and gracious God … let’s get a big ‘W’ after our name.”

So when a fan of the Vanderbilt Commodores asked Coach Stackhouse on Twitter if he could invite Sister Jean to come to Nashville with the team, he was quick to shoot down that idea.

“I (love) me some Sister Jean too but they usually win when she’s in the building….Let’s let her stay hone and get some rest,” Stackhouse responded.

There’s no word on whether Sister Jean, at age 102, plans to make the trip. As recently as last year she was traveling with her team. When the Ramblers once again made it to the NCAA tournament, Sister Jean was initially barred from attending due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She later got permission to accompany the team after receiving her vaccination.

She credited her persistence for making it happen.

“I was like that old woman in the Gospels who went to the judge so many times, the judge finally said, ‘Let’s let her do what she wants,’ ” Sister Jean told the Chicago Tribune.

Loyola-Chicago is off to a good start this year, with an 8-2 record. Coach Stackhouse’s Vanderbilt team has a 5-3 record, and the teams face off at 8 pm ET on Friday.

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