Richmond, Va. - Redshirt-senior Jihad Ali has been named a co-winner of the 2012 CAA's Dean Ehlers Award, the top award given out a Thursday night's end of the season banquet. The Dean Ehlers Award recognizes the student-athlete who "embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship, in conjunction with their academic and athletic achievements."

Ali received the honor from CAA Commissioner Thomas Yeager at the annual awards banquet prior to the start of the CAA Basketball Championship which begins on Friday.

"I am extremely proud of Jihad for receiving this award," commented head coach Ron Hunter. "He truly embodies all five components of this award and is a true leader on and off the court. He has the respect of his teammates and has helped lead us to a remarkable season."

Also earning All-CAA Third Team honors on Thursday, Ali leads the team and is 12th in the conference in scoring, averaging 13.2 points per game. This season he increased his shooting percentage to 42.9 percent, 12th in the CAA, while swiping a career-best 1.5 steals per game. The Lithonia native is 14th in the league in rebounding, pulling down 5.8 per game.

In the classroom, Ali earned his degree in finance last summer and is currently pursuing a masters in sports administration. He was named to the CAA All-Academic First Team on Thursday night after earning second team honors in 2010.

On campus, he has served as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee with an active roll in all of their projects. He can often be found working with others and making an impact on the Georgia State campus.

In the community, Ali has worked with numerous organizations, including Samaritan's Feet, the CAA Blood Drive, American Heart Association Heart Walk and the MS Bike Ride.

Ali is the first Georgia State men's basketball student-athlete to receive this award in the school's seven years as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.