Junior, civil engineering
Recognition seems to follow Josh Wallace, a celebrated junior on the Auburn men's basketball team. Originally from Pensacola, Fla., Wallace is studying civil engineering and is a 5'10" point guard for the Tigers. He has been honored both on and off the court, receiving awards such as playmaker of the year and outstanding defensive player. Wallace has also received university and engineering scholarships for his academic achievements, including a dean's annual scholarship, the prestigious Foy Spirit Award, given in memory of Dean of Students James E. Foy and his wife Emmalu Foy, and the Alabama Power/ Southern Company scholarship.
1. What drew you to Auburn? Basketball, engineering...or both?
I was playing basketball in high school and was recruited by junior colleges and some Division I schools. A couple of colleges backed off because I wanted to study engineering and they thought basketball and engineering wouldn't go together. I contacted one of the coaches here my senior year, and they gave me the opportunity to walk on. It's a great engineering school, so that's how I ended up at Auburn. The reality is that the basketball is going to stop bouncing one of these days, so I wanted a good degree. I want to be the best. I want to be a part of a family and I feel like there's no other way to go than Auburn.
2. What has been the most exciting part about playing basketball?
Having the opportunity to be a starter. I got to help out the team the best I could. Most walk-ons don't get a chance like that.
3. How did you choose civil engineering?
I chose civil for a couple of different reasons. I chose it because my older cousin is a civil engineer, and I have always looked up to him. I'm really enjoying my major right now. My favorite class so far is transportation, and I believe I'm going to go into that area of civil engineering after graduation.
4. Has it been a challenge trying to balance engineering with being a student athlete? Some have said it is like having two fulltime jobs.
Civil engineering deserves another type of commitment. In high school, you can half-heartedly try and get by with some stuff, but now you have to buckle down and focus on your school work. I'm focusing on both right now, but I am looking forward to working later on and using my degree and what I'm learning right now. It's pretty cool.
5. You've obviously learned a lot from civil engineering classes and the basketball court. What has your experience at Auburn taught you the most?
Never give up. Always keep pushing through, working hard. I have faith that my God will take care of me. It's been a grind, trying to balance basketball and engineering. It's paying off so far, though. It's a blessing to be where I am right now. I love playing basketball each and every day, especially wearing an Auburn uniform, and being an engineer.Photos contributed by Todd Van Emst, Auburn Athletics