Psychology Influences how Alum Approaches Life and Pro Basketball

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Auryn Macmillan (’10) Has Played on Teams in Australia, Germany and the UK

In the position of power forward, Auryn Macmillan (’10) looks for opportunities to energize his team with a rebound or a jump shot. As he blocks shots and protects the ball, the professional basketball player relates his actions and the responses of others to concepts he learned at Gardner-Webb University.

“Studying psychology has been a huge influence on how I approach everything in life, basketball and otherwise,” Macmillan observed. “In particular I think having an understanding of learning theories and being able to recognize my own, as well as others’, best mode of learning has really helped me to be a great leader and team member.”

Since graduating with his bachelor’s degree from Gardner-Webb, Macmillan has played on professional teams in Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom. He also completed his Master of Science in Psychological Research Methods at Plymouth University in England.

A native of Melbourne, Australia, Macmillan was a member of the GWU men’s basketball squad that recorded the historic win over No. 20 Kentucky in 2007. “I think our biggest achievement was the run we had my sophomore year (2006-2007),” Macmillan reflected. “We beat some big-name schools and played some others really close. It was a really exciting year for us and the fans. Some of my fondest memories are from my time at GWU.”

Among his favorite times were discussions in Dr. Perry Hildreth’s philosophy classes that explored the topic of epistemology, the study of knowledge and justified belief. “It was a real eye-opening topic for me,” Macmillan explained. “I am a particular fan of Rene Descartes and Immanuel Kant, and have found myself continuously revisiting their work. Being introduced to the topic and related literature in an environment where we could actively discuss differing ideas and opinions, was invaluable and helped broaden my world view.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).