Baru, a 6-foot-9, 225-point combination forward/center from the Ivory Coast, is among 24 of the nation's best high school boys basketball players selected to play in the classic. The game will be televised live nationally on CBS College Sports Network at 3 p.m. (ET) which can be viewed in the Charleston area by Berkeley Cable TV subscribers on Channel 150, to DirecTV subscribers on Channel 613 and 613 (HD) and Dish Network subscribers on Channel 152 and 152 (HD).
Baru was rated the No. 26 overall prospect by Rivals.com, No. 29 overall prospect by Scout.com and No. 46 overall prospect and the third highest-rated big man in the Class of 2011 by ESPN College Basketball Recruiting. He starred this past season for The Steward School and currently resides in Richmond, Va.
A portion of the proceeds from the 2011 NeXt All-American Classic will go to Chicago Public Schools athletics. Sports programs at many inner-city schools are at risk of being eliminated due to budget cuts and lack of funding. Studies show when students participate in athletics the dropout rate decreases, grades improve and graduation rates rise dramatically. Student-athletes, on average, perform significantly better academically than those who do not play sports.