Why Auburn basketball’s weekend in San Diego was special for Anfernee McLemore

Auburn basketball-Auburn-Auburn Tigers-Anfernee McLemore

SAN DIEGO — When Auburn basketball was placed in San Diego by the NCAA Tournament selection committee last week, a lot of Tigers fans were disappointed that Bruce Pearl’s team wouldn’t be close to home.

But for two fans of  in particular of Auburn’s injured center Anfernee McLemore, California was the Tigers’ perfect destination.

On Friday, before Auburn played the College of Charleston in the first round of the tournament, McLemore got to meet two of his siblings, Tyler and Mia McLemore, for the first time.

“I was pretty excited,” McLemore told SEC Country. “That was the first time in my life I’ve gotten to see them. They’ve always stayed out in California. I just never got the opportunity to meet them for the first time.

“Their mom [Ashley Ramirez, who is married to Anfernee’s father, Feron McLemore] brought them out, and I was really excited to meet them, and they were really excited to meet me. It was a really good bonding moment.”

MORE: Bruce Pearl: ‘My anticipation is that I’ll be Auburn’s basketball coach’

McLemore posted pictures of the meeting to his Instagram story on Friday night. The younger McLemores’ mother put up more pictures on her own account over the weekend:

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A post shared by 🍭🍒❤️ASHLEY❤️🍒🍭 (@beauti4ull_heart) on

Tyler and Mia McLemore talk to Anfernee on a weekly basis, and they usually communicate before and after his Auburn games.

“They’ll call in and check on me, I’ll call in and check on them,” McLemore said. “Whenever I have a game, they’ll talk to me and text me and all that good stuff. It was never really an option for me to get as close to them as I wanted because they were so far away.”

Tyler is 12 years old, and Mia is 10. They’ve never gotten the opportunity to meet McLemore, a native of Warwick, Ga., face-to-face.

That changed when they found out Auburn would be coming to their home state. The family drove several hours to San Diego to see him.

“I was really fortunate to come here,” McLemore said. “I didn’t really think about it until they texted me when we were flying out. They were like, ‘Are you going to San Diego?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And they were like, ‘Well, we’re coming to your game.'”

MORE: Auburn’s loss to Clemson ‘doesn’t take anything away’ from historic season

Although McLemore wasn’t able to play in the NCAA Tournament, he still got an opportunity he had waited on for a long time.

And while Auburn could’ve been sent to closer destinations such as Nashville or Dallas — or randomly to any of the five other first- and second-round hosts — McLemore is glad his breakout season for the Tigers got to end specifically in San Diego.

“You know, that was a pretty good coincidence,” McLemore said. “It’s a blessing to have this opportunity. For what this season has brought to me, that being one more thing is just a blessing.”

The post Why Auburn basketball’s weekend in San Diego was special for Anfernee McLemore appeared first on SEC Country.

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