July 15, 2013

Baral to the Sunshine State

Kevin McCarthy
 

The teams he is a member of are always successful whether it be on the West Coast, the East Coast or the desert; Glenn Baral's teams just win. That was certainly true during his time at St. Mary's High in Berkeley, at Salisbury School in Connecticut and then at Westwind Prep in Phoenix. Label it a coincidence if you must but also call it a fact. Now he is planning on continuing that trend in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

photo of Glenn Baral

At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Baral has elevated his offensive skills set and become a defensive factor as well as hardened his body during his time away from the Bay Area.

That caught the attention of former Jacksonville College assistant coach Bert Capel who was pursuing Baral while the former was still in the Texas Junior College ranks. When Stetson University hired Corey Williams away from Florida State to head the Hatter basketball program, Williams in turn brought in Capel as an assistant. The interest in Baral remained strong and Williams eventually caught Baral fever, making a call last Friday night offering a Stetson University scholarship.

What amounts to the proverbial cherry on top of this recruiting tale is the you-never-know beginning as Capel was watching the Arizona Magic squad to look at another prospect but ended up noticing and wanting to learn more about Baral.

So why the choice of the Hatters?

“I believe in the coaches. They really wanted me.”

That ties in directly to Baral's lengthy response regarding what advice he would offer to high school juniors and seniors. He broke it down into four items:

Also asked what he will bring to Stetson next season, Baral offered, “I'll push everybody and compete against anybody. I want to make everyone be the best they can be.”

He added, “Also leadership, even outside basketball.”

Concurrently, he offered “my basketball IQ, my defense and my motor” as his best basketball skills.

While in Connecticut, he played hoops and his squad won the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championship but Baral used the time there more to focus on academic preparedness and readiness.

In Phoenix, “I did a lot of skill work, more than anywhere else I've been. Westwind is very successful at getting players into college and also then on to the pros.”

Baral's longtime coach and mentor, Ryant Diew, offered, “Glenn is unique because he plays the one as well as he plays the two. He is flawless at the point. Last July, when we [the Oakland Rebels] we're going up against large and strong point guards, we moved Glenn over there and we flourished. He is so big and strong, he can batter opposing point guards and he is an excellent game manager.”

Away from the basketball focus, Stetson is located in Jacksonville and on the Atlantic Ocean. There is a strong commitment to academics as evidenced by 73% of Stetson student-athletes earning a 3.0 or better grade point average in the 2012-13 season. One of the reasons for this remarkable accomplishment is the 11/1 student-to-instructor ratio and an undergraduate population of just 2,600.

Here's Diew again: “Glenn will do best in a small setting and at Stetson he will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with his teachers. He has been living in different areas the past couple of years so he should adjust really easily. So many of the Bay Area guys get homesick because they're away for the first time. That won't happen with Glenn.”

Baral is looking to major in business entertainment, wanting to be involved with music and television shows.

He wished to thank “my parents especially, because they've been my biggest supporters, and all my coaches.” This summer, he is working out with Anthony Eggleton and Doc Sheppler to hone mind, body and skills before trekking 3,000 miles to further his journey.