Terps' Ivan Bender proposes to girlfriend at Senior Night

Ben Krimmel
March 09, 2019 - 11:28 am
Maryland Terps senior Ivan Bender proposes to his girlfriend Andrea Knezevic at Senior Night.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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Senior Night in college sports is a time for thanking players for their years of dedication to a program and family celebrations.

For Maryland forward Ivan Bender and longtime girlfriend Andrea Knezevic it also became ring night.

Awww.... Isn't that great? 

The No. 24 Terps would go on to beat Minnesota 69-60 thanks to 21 points from Anthony Cowan Jr. and a 19 point, 11 rebound performance from freshman Jalen Smith. Unfortunately for the ebullient Bender, his lone highlight came pregame. He finished with no points and three personal fouls in six minutes of play.

But the proposal itself may have been a bigger contribution than anything in the box score.

“I think it was Ivan’s proposal that kind of fired me up because I was already hyped from it,” Smith said. “I was like, might as well just carry this energy over.”

Bender told reporters after the game only a handful of people knew of his plan, which he first came up with in September.

“I had a few ideas, this one seemed the best,” Bender said after the game. “I always wanted to do it here because it’s my second home. Being here for four and a half years, being around my teammates, keeping them in the dark, it was hard, but it was priceless at the end to see their reaction at the end.”

One of those people in the know was Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, who slipped the 23-year-old Bosnian the ring.

“(Turgeon) was so happy to be part of it, and I was grateful that he said yes and allowed me to do it here,” Bender said. “It was special moment.”

Bender's Maryland teammates were not among the handful of people who knew, which led to their euphoric reaction.

It is a pretty tough call determining who is more excited by all this: Ivan, Andrea, or the rest of the Terps players?

"The way they reacted to Ivan just shows you the love (among the players) and how young they are,” Turgeon said postgame.

Everybody loves love! Let's hear it for love!!!

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