"This is where I want to be"

Schlarman 5-star recruit Anaya Peoples commits to Notre Dame

DANVILLE (WCIA) -- Anaya Peoples knew where she wanted to go all along, she just had to wait until that school wanted her.

"I've always known I love Notre Dame but when she (Muffet McGraw) offered me, I was like, 'Wow, all my hard work is paying off and this is reality and this is where I want to be,'" Peoples said.

Ranked as the 4th best player in the country by ProspectsNation.com, Peoples got a chance to play with her future teammates while on a visit to South Bend last week. Later that day, the Schlarman guard sat in Irish head coach Muffet McGraw's office and got an offer.

 "I said, 'Wow' and then 'This is where I want to be,'" Peoples said. "Then after that everybody just stood up and hugged and lots of smiles and a few tears shed. It was a feeling that I can't explain."

Notre Dame is one of the most successful women's basketball programs in the country. The Irish have been to four national title games and five Final Fours the last seven years. Peoples has watched it all, keeping a close eye on one of her biggest role models, Skylar Diggins. 

"I've looked up to Skylar Diggins since I was so young," Peoples added. "I remember watching her play and just wanting to be like her in every way so now that I get a chance to go there and play on the same court is just, it's an awesome feeling."

Peoples picked Notre Dame over Tennessee, Purdue, South Carolina, and Connecticut. Her top five schools have a combined 23 national championships. She visited Illinois multiple times but ultimately wanted a more proven program.

"I love Illinois," she said. "I've been there many of times. They're a great school but like I said, Notre Dame has always been a part of me."

Her recruitment goes back to junior high, she got her first offer in seventh grade. Through it all her dad and coach, Keith, has made sure to get one message across to Anaya from the beginning.

"I think it's a perfect fit," he said. "Sometimes throughout the recruiting process as parents we get caught up into the lights, the glamour but more importantly what we had to focus on with Anaya was keeping things in perspective.

"That was you attend a university to get an education primarily first, and Notre Dame is of higher education, the standards there. It is a Christian based university, it's a private university and the fact that they are pretty successful on the basketball court makes it a perfect fit."

 Peoples is the first commit for Notre Dame in the 2019 class.


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