DANVILLE (WCIA) — Anaya Peoples has, quite literally, her whole world on her shoulders.
“I get to represent my country, Schlarman, Danville, Notre Dame, my last name,” Peoples said. “So, it means the whole world to me.”
The Schlarman senior is one of 12 players selected to represent the U.S. at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in August. Peoples will travel to Colorado for training camp starting July 20th before heading to the Championships in Mexico City.
“Gold medal. We only want a gold medal,” she said. “Everything below is not good enough.”
“Very excited for the invite,” her dad and coach Keith Peoples said. “And overwhelmed with joy when I was informed she actually made the team. Speechless.”
For Anaya, the third time was the charm. She previously tried out for the U16 and U17 teams but did not make the cut. Now 17 years old, Peoples is one of just three high school seniors on the team.
“I had done my research and knew all the girls there were going to be very competitive, very good,” Peoples said. “We have UConn commits, Stanford commits, Baylor commits,. Everyone there was there to compete.”
And it won’t be the first time the ‘Peoples’ name has donned the back of a USA jersey.
“She has a relative who actually represented the U18 team a few years ago,” Keith Peoples said. “And for Anaya to follow those footsteps with the same last name, it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my cousin.”
But before she takes the court in the red, white and blue, there’s one pressing issue for Peoples.
“I’m trying to contact some of the girls who have made the team and see what I need to pack, what to expect,” she said. “I have no idea. It’s going to be a new experience but I’m excited.”
Peoples will get her first taste of international competition when the USA team scrimmages Canada on July 31.