DANVILLE (WCIA) — She’s one of the best girls high school basketball players to come through central Illinois, now Anaya Peoples is off to write the next chapter in college.
It’s one last workout in the Schlarman gym before Anaya Peoples says goodbye to the place she called home for almost 14 years.
“Notre Dame is going to be my new home, and I’m gonna be going there to workout instead of here. It’s gonna be weird not being in this gym, smelling this gym. I can still see people here in the stands, but I’m excited for the journey and i’m excited for the change.”
Even before she stepped foot on Notre Dame’s campus, the Fighting Irish have been her top priority. People passed on the opportunity to try out for the U19 Women’s National team, all so she could focus on college ball.
“I decided not to go because I won’t be able to travel with them to Thailand in the summer, because Notre Dame wants me on campus. It’s obviously a little bit heartbreaking, but I understand my Notre Dame team needs me.”
In 2018, Peoples played for the U18 National Team where she won a gold medal. The standout point guard led the Hilltoppers to back-to-back state championships and played in the McDonald’s All-American game in March. ESPN ranks her as one of the top-20 high school players in the country, and she’s putting all her individual goals aside for what she wants to accomplish as a team at Notre Dame.
“My ultimate goal is to win a national championship, that’s always in my head, but I also want to be a better person, a better leader. So I’m gonna give my all to them, and so if they want me there, I’ll be there with them no matter what.”
Until her next opportunity to play with Team USA, Peoples is putting her Fighting Irish team above all else, with the chance to lead them to their third straight NCAA Championship game.