NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Here comes the Class of 2019 Irish. Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw announced the addition of two signees on Thursday in forward Sam Brunelle and guard Anaya Peoples.
Brunelle is ranked No. 4 overall by espnW in the Class of 2019 and No. 1 at the forward position, while Peoples checks in at No. 21 overall and No. 4 at point guard. Together they make up another top-10 recruiting class for Coach McGraw and company.
“What I love about them is that they’re both great teammates. They’re both unselfish players and care about winning more than their own stats. Both are a tremendous fit with our program,” Coach McGraw stated.
Brunelle hails from Ruckersville, Virginia, where she attends William Monroe High School. The 6-2 forward is a three-time gold medalist with Team USA: winning the 3×3 title at 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup on Belarus and the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Argentina. Brunelle also won the bronze at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Cup in Spain.
“One of our needs for this class was to find a shooter to replace Marina Mabrey and Brunelle is the best shooter in this class,” McGraw explained. “At 6’3 she gives us versatility to post up smaller guards. She’s a really good passer and unselfish player.”
Brunelle is not only the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in Virginia, but also the USA Today Virginia Player of the Year as well. Brunelle averaged 30.0 points, 15.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season, while guiding William Monroe to a 24-2 record and its first playoff appearance since 1988 – all while posting a trio of 40-point games along the way. Furthermore, Brunelle tallied her 1,000th career rebound and 2,000th career point last season.
“I’m super excited to be joining Notre Dame women’s basketball,” Brunelle said. “I can’t wait to play at the best university in the country, for the best team in the country, and for the best coach in the country. I can’t wait for the next four years at Notre Dame and the next forty after that!”
Peoples hails from Danville, Illinois, where she attends Schlarman High School. Like Brunelle, Peoples also captured gold with Team USA, helping the Red, White and Blue to the title at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
“Peoples gives us a guard who can pressure the ball and rebound,” McGraw said. “She will help us defensively immediately. She also has the ability to get to the rim and the free throw line.”
Peoples averaged 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 steals as a junior, all while guiding Schlarman High to a 33-1 record and a 1A State Championship. Recognized for her efforts, Peoples was named the 2018 USA Today Illinois Player of the Year and a 2018 Naismith All-America honorable mention. Lastly, she’s now a three-time Associated Press Class 1A All-State First Team choice.
There are so many reasons to be excited I can’t list them all,” Peoples said. “I look forward to being able to learn and soak up everything from incredible coaches who have built a relationship with me since seventh grade. Representing and playing for ND Nation is something I have envisioned for several years. What I thought was only a dream is a reality!”
Meanwhile the current No. 1 Fighting Irish resume action on Saturday, Nov. 17, at No. 15 DePaul. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. ET, inside Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
— ND —