A standout in his class

Published: April 03, 2019
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Anfernee McLemore's thirst for knowledge extends beyond the classroom, showing up on the grade sheet and the stat sheet. 

A stellar student at Worth County High School near Albany, Georgia, McLemore considered academic offers from Brown and Yale before choosing Auburn.

"I decided to stay close to home, and [Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl] showed me a lot of love," McLemore said. "He told me I would come here and develop and that's why I chose Auburn."

The Ivy League's loss was the SEC's gain.

"It feels like home," McLemore said. "The fans, whether you win or lose, they're always behind you. The coaches show you so much love and support for you. They want to see you succeed. And I'm not too far from home, about two hours, so that's a big factor. My family can actually come watch me play. It's a nice environment to play in."

An accounting major, McLemore has credited Amy Murphy, a professor in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, for guiding him through her Principles of Financial Accounting course.

"Anfernee was definitely a standout in class," Murphy said. "He demonstrated daily an understanding of the material and his preparedness for class by asking meaningful questions and participating during my lectures."

McLemore has always prioritized academics, achieving his goal of being a high school honors graduate.

"I like getting good grades. It felt good when I got an A on something," he said. "To this day, it still feels good when I work hard and it pays off for me."

McLemore's hunger to learn serves as a role model to young players with college basketball aspirations.

"Even if you're an average basketball player, the academics can put you above some other guys," he said. "It's always finding a slight edge over your competition. If you can do anything that can put you ahead, I try for it."

True to his studious nature, McLemore successfully navigated the learning curve that comes with transitioning from high school hoops to the SEC.

Most recently, he helped the Tigers reach their first Final Four, with critical overtime plays in Auburn's 77-71 win over Kentucky, leaving the Tigers two wins away from the national championship.

"At this point, we just think, 'Why not us?'" McLemore said. "We can play with any team in the country. We feel like we can beat any team in the country. We see all of this talent ahead of us, but why not us?

"If we complete this historic run with a national championship, then it would just be an amazing feeling."

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.