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'78 Lady Terps 'ring' in a new era for women's hoops

Wednesday - 2/9/2011, 8:25pm  ET

Lady Terps Ring Design
The design of the 1978 Lady Terps championship ring. (Photo courtesy Balfour.com)
Evan Haning, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Maryland's Lady Terps may have entered the history books in 1978 as the winners of the inaugural ACC Women's Basketball Tournament, but they had little to show for it.

"We never got a ring," says Liza Abood. "I guess we just got overlooked."

The lack of a ring for her team's victory nagged Abood over the years, so about two years ago, she decided to do something about it.

"I called the ring companies a couple of times, but they told me I had to get permission from the university to use the logo."

That wasn't so tough. When she called Maryland's athletic department they told her to do whatever she wanted to design the ring.

"So I designed the ring exactly the way I had dreamed it would be."

The ringmaker told Abood that she could get a discount if 12 members of the team committed themselves to buy the finished product.

Locating some of those teammates after 33 years was a challenge, Abood admits, and it took about a year and a half.

But it was worth it. The other women were as excited about finally getting their rings as Abood, she she "easily got twelve."

She also noticed she wasn't the only one who took great pride in her past.

"It's interesting, when I got their emails I saw that every one of them had their uniform number in their email address."

Although there was no lack of excitement, lack of money was an issue for some of the women.

"The lowest-priced ring was $230. That's quite a bit in this day and age."

When Abood sent a picture of the ring to the university's then-Athletic Director Dr. Debbie Yow explaining the economic constraints some of the '78 Lady Terps were under, she got nothing but encouragement.

"Dr. Yow said, 'Go ahead and get the ring. We're on board and we'll pay for it.'"

It is ironic that 33 years ago, the Lady Terps defeated North Carolina State to become the first ACC champions, and this past summer Yow left Maryland to become N.C. State's new athletics director.

This Sunday in College Park, Maryland will play Virginia, and at halftime the first women's champs of the ACC - the 1978 Lady Terps - will get their rings.

Follow Evan Haning on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)