By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala. - Basketball practice may have been over for her middle school teammates, but not for Presley Weems.
"When we would leave from school practice," said Weems, an Auburn sophomore, "we went to the gym again and my dad would say, 'We're not leaving until you make this many free throws.' That's how I grew up."
Presley grew up in the gym, just like her dad, former Auburn basketball star Lance Weems.
"She was a really good shooter, and it was because of all the practicing," Lance Weems said. "I based their practices off of what I did growing up. They couldn't leave the gym without making a hundred free throws. I'd make them get there early before practice and we'd do some of it, and then make them stay after practice and do some of it. Basically, the same way I was brought up."
The son of Clay County coach Jerry Weems, a 2011 Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Lance in 1995-96 set Auburn's record for 3-pointers in a game (10) and season (108).
Sharpshooter: Lance Weems made 108 3-pointers in 1995-96, an Auburn record that has stood for 22 years.
In high school, Presley traded her basketball shoes for track shoes, becoming one of the state's elite runners at Hoover. She ran the fastest 800 meters in Alabama high school history, 2:06:87, at nationals in 2016.
"She grew up in an Auburn family, she gets it, she bleeds orange and blue," Auburn assistant track and field coach David Barnett said. "She's a great competitor. She's definitely going to be a contributor for us, on and off the track, for several years."
'I want them to know my name first' - Auburn sophomore Presley Weems runs track and cross country for the Tigers.
A nutrition dietetics major, Presley aspires to be a registered dietitian, working either in sports or helping people overcome eating disorders.
Lance and his wife, Ami, a fellow Auburn graduate, hold season tickets to Auburn football games. Visits with friends who were Auburn students solidified Presley's plan to become a Tiger.
"This is home, this is where I want to be," she recalled thinking. Now that she's here, Presley carries on the Weems' family tradition of athletic excellence at Auburn.
"I love it so much," she said. "I text my parents all the time, 'We get to do this, or we get to do that,' so it's been a really good experience. When I moved in, my parents said, 'Now you get to see what it's like,' so they've been excited for me."
Two decades after his 3-point exploits thrilled fans at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, it's Lance's turn to be a fan of Auburn's track team.
"It's very exciting," he said. "I'm very happy for her, very proud of her. She's always said that was her goal, to run at Auburn.
"It kind of goes back to what my dad was telling a friend of his a long time ago when I signed to play at Auburn. He said one of the proudest moments that he will ever have in life is seeing me run out on the floor for the first time with Auburn written across my chest, because he's just such a huge, avid Auburn fan.
"That's kind of how my wife and I feel about it, just proud moments and proud parents to see her on the Auburn track team with that Auburn written across her chest, and running her heart out each time she's out."
'I would be happy for him'
Entering Friday's SEC Tournament game, Auburn junior Bryce Brown has made 100 3-pointers this season, eight shy of tying Lance's season record.
Closing in: With 100 3-pointers, Bryce Brown needs eight more to tie Lance Weems' Auburn season record
"I wish him all the success in the world," Lance said. "He can flat-out shoot it, that's for sure. It wouldn't bother me one bit if he broke it. I'd be happy for him. That's what records are there for anyway, for somebody to chase."
Lance's friends frequently call and text, asking how he feels about Brown closing in.
"I hope he breaks it because that means he's hot in the game and Auburn's probably going to win that game, so more power to him. I would be happy for him if he broke it because he's such a team player, as all of them are. I'm excited to be watching them play."
After coaching high school basketball in Alabama for nine years, Lance now oversees adult and youth sports programs for Hoover's Parks and Recreation.
When his schedule allows, Lance returns to Auburn Arena to watch the Tigers in person. In January, Weems was honored on the court with fellow Auburn basketball alumni.
"That was pretty cool to see them down there and be like, 'That's my Dad!'" Presley said.
Ever the competitor, Presley hopes her track accolades eventually overtake her famous father's place in Auburn lore.
"Everyone's like, 'Your Lance Weems' daughter,'" she said. "So now I need to do something here because I want them to know my name first."
"This is like my second home & now I get to be a part of it."
Presley runs 800m for @AuburnTFXC. Her dad, Lance Weems, holds @AuburnMBB season record for 3-pointers. pic.twitter.com/ZkDJ8X1Nm4
-- Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) February 21, 2018
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer