His hometown is Childersburg, Alabama, where he was a McDonald's High School All American. After graduating from high school in 2000, Wallace entered the University of Alabama. After his freshman year, he declared himself eligible for the 2001 NBA Draft, in which he was taken with the 25th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings. In Sacramento, he was a seldom used player known mostly for his acrobatic dunks and athleticism. The Bobcats recognized his talent and drafted him in their 2004 expansion draft. He started immediately for the club, and went on to have an impressive season, averaging 11.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks a game. He continued to improve in 2005-06, before getting injured in January, averaging 14.5 pts and 7 rbs, and ranking in the top 10 in the NBA in Field Goal Percentage (54.142), Blocks (2.19), and Steals Per Game (2.44).