| 5.9°C Dublin

The power of prayer is all the stronger when the stats back it

Close

Basketball

Basketball

Basketball

Sr Jean is back on the road. Three years ago when Loyola University Chicago created a major surprise by reaching the Final Four of the March Madness national college basketball tournament their 98-year-old team chaplain became something of a cult figure.

Crossing the centenary mark hasn’t halted the San Francisco-born nun’s gallop. Having received two Covid-19 vaccine injections which enabled her to attend the tournament, Sr Jean delivered a team prayer before their second round meeting with number one seeds Illinois in Indianapolis this night last week.

It went like this: “As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win. We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50 per cent of its lay-ups and 30 per cent of its three-point shots, Our defence can take care of that.”

Eighth-seeded Loyola were underdogs against Illinois. But they won by 71-58, having taken an early lead and out-rebounded an opposition who made just 45 per cent of their lay-ups and 29 per cent of their three-point shots.

The power of prayer is apparently all the greater when accompanied by some astute tactical analysis.

Sport Newsletter

Get the best analysis and comment from our award-winning team of writers and columnists with our free newsletter.

This field is required


Most Watched





Privacy