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Loyola Ramblers welcomed to Illinois Senate (AUDIO)

 Loyola Ramblers

On March 24, 2018, the Loyola Ramblers defeated Kansas State 78-62 to advance to play in their second Final Four in school history. On May 9, they came to the Illinois Senate at the Capitol in Springfield.

Loyola alum and Senate President John Cullerton welcomed Coach Porter Moser, MVC Coach of the Year, and his team to celebrate the exciting 2017-18 season that culminated in a journey to the NCAA Final Four.

The woman at the Ramblers’ side for their wild March Madness ride, 98-year-old Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, who has served as team chaplain since 1996, accompanied them again today to Springfield. Sister Jean became a media sensation and a top-selling bobble head at the Loyola bookstore. She also threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Cubs’ season opener this spring.

The Senate approved a resolution, SR1703, sponsored by President Cullerton. It congratulates the team on their magnificent season in the Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA Tournament. The resolution also points out the many individual honors earned by team members and the inspirational role of Sister Jean.

The 2018 Ramblers set numerous records this year; the university and its basketball team have a history of breaking records, most notably in 1963 when they won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament national championship under the leadership of All-American Jerry Harkness. That year, Loyola also spurred a national conversation on race with their integrated team, in one instance holding a game in secret to circumvent segregation laws.

Here is our look back at that season from a visit by the 1963 team to the Illinois Senate in 2013, on the occasion of their induction to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.