MILWAUKEE — Coach Shaka Smart leads the players on the court, while Father John Laurance plays a vital role off the court.
Wearing his Marquette jacket, inside the chapel, Father Laurance beams with excitement talking about the Golden Eagles.
Father Laurance came to Marquette as a freshman in 1956. He knew early on that he wanted to become a member of Catholic priests known as Jesuits. But, he also had another passion that led him to the hardwood.
"I've always enjoyed team sports. I think that's why I became if Jesuit," Father Laurance laughed.
In 2015, he combined his love of basketball and the church and became Marquette's Men's Basketball Chaplain.
Laurance almost never misses a practice and gets in on the action at 85 years old.
"I took a couple of jump shots and they all lit up and celebrated with me," Father Laurance laughed.
You will typically see him on the sideline with the coaches getting the team pumped.
"To have me there is to say that this is part of human life and that God is present here as well," Father Laurance said.
He is a calming presence that players look to before a big game.
Father Laurance said before a game begins, one player also shouts, "Let's win for Father Laurance."
You better believe this beloved member also has a piece of history, after cutting down the champion basketball net against St. John's.
"Winning it all would mean so much, because of this group of players," Father Laurance said.
And he's ready to hit the road with his Golden Eagles.
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