In addition to ruining everyone’s NCAA Tournament brackets, Loyola Chicago is also providing an unlikely celebrity pairing in the form of Sister Jean and Charles Barkley. Before the Elite Eight began, Barkley said he wanted to hang out with 98-year-old nun Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt if the 11th-seeded Ramblers advanced to the Final Four. Loyola locked in a Final Four appearance with a 78-62 win over Kansas State Saturday, and in the process set up a televised opportunity for Loyola’s team chaplain to accept or deny Barkley’s proposal.
“We’ll have limitations,” Schmidt told Lisa Byington of CBS when asked if the meeting with Barkley would happen. “I like him when he talks as a sports announcer very much, but I don’t want to see him play on the basketball court.”
Barkley, who was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, declined a clear opportunity for rebuttal with Schmidt.
“Listen, this is a great story,” Barkley replied, in reference to the Ramblers’ improbable tournament run. He then turned his attention to the thought of himself hanging out with a nun juxtaposed against some of his own legal run-ins.
“It was pretty much 80-20 on me going to the pearly gates the other way,” Barkley joked. “So I’m not gonna say anything bad about Sister Jean. It’s gonna be hard to make up that other 80 percent. I’m not gonna help myself. I don’t want to give that other 20 percent away.”
You can view Barkley’s comments at the 39-second mark in the above video.
The Final Four is scheduled to air Saturday, March 31 at 6:09 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas.