The emails would come regularly, usually right after a game. They often would include praise — maybe for doing a good job defending a certain player or finding an open shot in a pivotal moment. And sometimes they would include direction — work on this or that and try to do better next time.
Milton Doyle would always take them to heart because, let’s face it, Sister Jean knows what’s up.
Doyle, who joined the Nets at practice Monday after the conclusion of the Long Island Nets’ G League season, is getting asked an awful lot about Sister Jean these days. Back when he played at Loyola-Chicago, she was just the nun with the wicked scouting report. These days, she’s a 98-year-old superstar: the emotional center of a Ramblers team that has defied the odds, making it to the Final Four as an 11 seed.
“Everybody always asks me about her,” he said. “After every game, she sends emails out to each player individually and tells them what they’ve done right and wrong. She actually knows what she’s talking about. She knows the scouting report just like us.”
What did Sister Jean tell him to fix? “Everything,” he said, laughing. “She knew everything she was talking about. When you see her talking on TV, you can tell that she knows what she’s talking about.”
A quick Google search shows Sister Jean’s kindly visage plastered on socks and scarves. She has her own bobblehead, and the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum reported that it has sold 5,000 units, a record. And all of it is part of the greater story that has gripped this tournament from the opening rounds. Doyle, who graduated in 2017, still is part of the team group chat, and suffice it to say, his phone has been fairly active.
“It’s been crazy,” he said of the chat. “They’re getting all types of shout-outs from everyone in Chicago, from Barack Obama to Chance the Rapper . . . It’s great. It’s like watching my little brothers enjoy success.”
Loyola-Chicago next plays third-seeded Michigan on Saturday night, around the same time the Nets are set to take on the Heat. Doyle won’t be able to see it live, but he’s also given up all hope of avoiding the score until he can sit down and watch it on a delay.
“I want to see it, but it’s better for me to be at a game,” he said. “I just keep track of it. Most people tell me. Even during our G League games, we play most of the same days as them, so when I walk in to sub in the game, there’s people at the table telling me the score.”
He doesn’t have too much of a message to his old team. To be fair, though, they’re probably getting that from Sister Jean.
“Just keep doing what you’re doing,” he said. “It’s been working so far.”