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Oklahoma basketball's Cole named Elite 90 winner

Senior with 3.98 GPA honored Thursday night during Houston event

C.J. Cole, a senior at the University of Oklahoma, is the recipient of the Elite 90 award for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

Cole, a chemical biosciences major, currently carries a 3.98 GPA. He was presented with the award during the Men’s Final Four Salute Presentation on Thursday night in Houston.

The Elite 90 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 90 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. The award was known as the Elite 89 before this year and was changed with the addition of the beach volleyball championship during the 2015-16 academic year.

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.