College basketball icon Sister Jean is continuing to stay active, even at 104 years old. To celebrate her birthday, which was on Aug. 21, the chaplain for the Loyola Chicago men’s basketball team threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on Monday night before the Chicago Cubs faced the Milwaukee Brewers. And she couldn’t resist adding a joke about her pitching arm when she posted the video on social media.
Sister Jean clearly had a fantastic time. She even did a windup before she threw the pitch, which is impressive for someone who has lived more than a century.
The world was introduced to Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt back in 2018. As chaplain for Loyola Chicago’s men’s basketball team, she advised the players, helped them keep their grades up, and led team prayers. She was cheering on the sidelines during the 2018 NCAA Tournament, when Loyola Chicago made an improbable run to the Final Four.
A then-98-year-old nun cheering on a basketball team — even one from a Catholic university — is going to grab headlines. And that’s just what she did, becoming a famous basketball nun who gave people joy and inspiration by just being herself, which something she’d been achieving on a smaller scale at Loyola for decades.
Everyone everywhere fell in love with Sister Jean, but the fame never went to her head. She has continued mentor basketball players and educate students since her brush with fame.
“That’s because I love working with these young people,” she said recently. “I think that’s what kept my heart young—not my body young—but kept my heart young all these years.”