Dores Add Pair of Graduate Transfers

Ciaja Harbison, Marnelle Garraud to play final season at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt women’s basketball coach Shea Ralph announced Monday the addition of two members to the program’s 2022-23 roster after Ciaja Harbison and Marnelle Garraud signed scholarship papers. With their arrival, the Commodores’ incoming class now includes five student-athletes who will join a team that won a pair of games in the WNIT last season.

“We are so excited to welcome Ciaja and Marnelle to Vanderbilt,” said Ralph. “They are competitive, confident, and hard-working women who will bring tremendous experience to our program. Most importantly, they will be great ambassadors for Vanderbilt, and we look forward to seeing them compete at the highest level of college basketball.”

Ciaja Harbison (pronounced KAI-zha HARR-buh-sun)

Guard | 5-6 | Louisville, Ky. | Male High School

Harbison comes to the West End from St. Louis, where she concluded her career as the program’s second-leading all-time scorer after recording 1,688 points in four seasons, while her average of 15.9 points per contest ranks third in school history. She also ranks among the top five in the Billikens’ record book with 403 assists, 156 steals and an 80.7 free-throw percentage after starting all 106 games she appeared in.

As a senior, Harbison recorded a career-best 17.5 points — the ninth-highest total on St. Louis’ season record list — as well as 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per outing to be named second-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference. She was a first-team all-conference selection and a member of the league’s All-Defensive Team her junior season after posting 16.9 points and 4.0 assists per game along with 24 steals and seven blocks, also earning first-team All-A10 recognition as a sophomore when she ranked in the top 10 in the conference with averages of 15.4 points, 4.1 assists and 1.5 steals per contest. After scoring 14.6 points and handing out a league-best 4.5 assists per contest her first season at the collegiate level Harbison was chosen the A10’s Rookie of the Year as well as first-team all-conference.

She scored 1,531 points during her prep career at Male High School in Louisville, Kentucky, and was named the player of the game after the first Kentucky-Indiana All-Star Game following her senior season. Harbison — who was ranked among the top 100 seniors in the country by ESPNW — earned second-team all-state and first-team all-region honors as a senior after helping the Bulldogs to their fifth consecutive district championship, and was also named second-team all-state and the region player of the year the previous season.

“Ciaja can GO,” Ralph said. “She is a fast-paced, veteran combo guard and has proven to be prolific throughout her college career. She has all the tools to be an elite scorer and defender in the SEC and we are so excited to help her to take her game to the next level.”

“I’m very excited to finish my career at Vanderbilt! I am so eager to pursue so many wonderful opportunities on and off the court,” Harbison said. “Awesome people, a great atmosphere, collaborative culture, booming city, great academics, and much more all make Vandy elite. I can’t wait to get started with such competitive and genuine coaches and teammates to push me to be my best. Most of all I’m ready to chase championships in Nashville!”

Marnelle Garraud (pronounced juh-ROD)

Guard | 5-7 | Lynn, Mass. | The Noble and Greenough School

A four-year letterwinner at Boston College, Garraud recorded 944 points, 343 rebounds, 373 assists and 202 steals while starting 102 of the 114 contests she played in as the Eagles posted a pair of 20-win seasons. She departs the program as one of two individuals in school history to be credited with 200 or more steals in a career and was eighth on BC’s all-time assists list as well.

Garraud finished the 2021-22 campaign with averages of 7.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per outing, leading the team in assists as well as with 52 steals to help the Eagles go 21-12 overall and 10-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference after advancing to the third round of WNIT; she was named to the league’s All-Defensive Team at the conclusion of the season. She posted 7.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game to go along with 58 assists and 39 steals — both team-leading totals — as a junior, while averaging a career-high 9.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists for a BC squad that ended the 2019-20 season 20-12, 11-7 in the ACC. Garraud recorded 8.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest as a freshman.

The Lynn, Massachusetts, resident scored over 1,000 points in her prep career after averaging 13 points, five assists and four steals per game. She played her final two seasons at The Noble and Greenough School, leading the Bulldogs to back-to-back Independent School League Class A titles as well as the New England Tournament Class AA championship; she was selected the most valuable player of the latter event. Garraud was also named the Catholic Conference Most Valuable Player during her time at St. Mary’s High School.

“Marnelle is a floor general,” said Ralph. “She is tough, smart, and competitive and has established herself as an elite guard at the Power 5 level. She is a proven leader and an excellent defender. Coach Garrick recruited Marnelle several years ago, and we are thrilled we get to coach her now at Vanderbilt.”

“I am so excited to be joining the Vanderbilt community. I love the way student-athletes at Vandy are supported by fans, staff and other athletes here,” said Garraud. “Coach Ralph and her staff have built something elite in just one year and I can’t wait to come and help keep it going. There’s always chatter about what the best women’s basketball conference in the country is: the SEC or ACC. Now that I get to play in both, I’ll have an answer soon. Either way, I’m ready to compete and we’re going to do some serious damage.”

The two will join incoming freshmen Ryanne Allen (Perkasie, Pa.), Jada Brown (Bentonville, Ark.) and Amauri Williams (North Little Rock, Ark.) in Ralph’s first recruiting class.