Ask anybody involved in grassroots basketball about Josh Selby and you will get a variety of answers. Some hail the 6-foot-2 point guard from Baltimore's talent and athleticism as easily identifiable traits that will lead to his success in college and beyond. There are others, though, who view the fiery competitor as something of a problem child who gets in his own way.
The thing about it, though, is that Josh Selby isn't spending much time worrying about what others may or may not think of him. He knows exactly who he is and takes a lot of pride in his toughness and sometimes combustible personality.
"That's just Baltimore," said Selby. "Being from there you have to be tough. That's where I get my toughness from, the streets of Baltimore."
While his intensity and willingness to fight for everything he gets on the floor is a huge asset, Selby is also willing to admit that he can be his own worst enemy at times.
"Sometimes it does go against me because I get angry at the refs here and there," says Selby of his emotional style. "But, having that emotion, that gets me and my teammates going sometimes. It can be a win or lose situation."
Having committed to Tennessee nearly a year ago, the athletic floor general sees himself as a perfect match for the Volunteers.
"I fit right in with Coach Pearl and the team," Selby told Inside Tennessee. "He's like me in a lot of ways and gets emotional too."
An admitted work in progress, Selby has been working hard to stay focused on and off the court. And while he may not necessarily care what those who aren't in his inner circle think about him, that doesn't mean there aren't things he'd like to clear up.
For instance, there's the move he made from DeMatha to Lake Clifton-Eastern.
"I switched from DeMatha because of the traveling issue," said Selby of his junior year transfer. "What I learned there was to be mentally tough. Catching a train at six o'clock in the morning, not getting home until one sometimes and then being back up at five taught me to be tough."
Now settled in and dominating the grassroots circuit with Baltimore Elite, Selby is focusing on improving as much as possible. He's working on his jumper and defense, but he's even more focused on improvement in another area.
"My main thing is that I've got to get stronger," says Selby when asked what he's most focused on improving. "At the next level they are really big. I see myself as a point guard so I know that I've got to improve everything else that goes along with that."
Secure in his future and who he is both on and off the floor, Selby is looking forward to his eventual arrival in Knoxville. As for how people answer the questions about who he is? Well, he's still not too worried about what people think but he wouldn't mind if people took a little more time to understand him.
"A lot of people don't know, their opinions don't really matter to me," finishes Selby. "As long as the people that really know me know who I am, that's all that matters. I know that people label me as a problem child but that's not who I am. So the people who say that's who I am need to get to know me. They don't understand me at all."