Aaron Craft, a sophomore at Ohio State, is the recipient of the Elite 89 award for the 2012 Division I Men’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 final site for each NCAA championship.

Craft, majoring in exercise science, currently carries a 3.888 GPA. He was presented with the award Thursday evening during the Men’s Final Four Salute Presentation in New Orleans.

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.