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Malina Howard of University of Maryland wins Elite 89™ Award for 2015 Division I Women’s Basketball Championship

Malina Howard, a junior at the University of Maryland, is the recipient of the Elite 89 award for the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

The Elite 89 award, founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.

Howard, majoring in kinesiology, currently carries a 3.798 GPA. She was presented with the award Tuesday evening during the women’s basketball championship game at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and competing at the championship.