By Cary Shuman
Marnelle Garraud, who has been nothing short of sensational in her basketball career at St. Mary’s High School the past two seasons, is transferring to Nobles and Greenough, a well-known prep school located in Dedham.
Garraud, a 5-foot-7-inch guard, will matriculate in September at Nobles, where she will be a five-days-a-week resident student on the school campus. She will play basketball at Nobles this winter as a junior (Class of 2018).
Garraud informed head coach Jeff Newhall and her teammates of her decision last week.
“It was really tough to tell Mr. Newhall,” said Garraud. “He’s been there for me since Day 1 and he’s done so much for me. My transferring wasn’t a personal thing. I’m very grateful for everything that he’s done for me. He’s gone above and beyond.”
It was Jeff Newhall who developed Garraud’s talents from the moment she entered the program, expanding her skills and allowing her flourish in St. Mary’s fast-paced but keenly structured offense. Interestingly, while Garraud scored 799 points in two seasons and had a 38-point performance in a win over Division 1 finalist Revere, she was quick to credit Newhall for making her a better defensive player.
“I think coach Newhall does an amazing job with all the players,” said Garraud. “Defensively I wasn’t very good, but he always told me what I needed to work on to improve. He would always help with extra defensive drills and push me to get better. He helped me reach where I needed to be as an all-around player.”
Newhall, who has led the St. Mary’s program to two state titles, was candid in his remarks, knowing that his team will miss the presence of the area’s most dynamic point guard.
“Like I told Marnelle, as the St. Mary’s basketball coach or St. Mary’s athletic director, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” related Newhall. “But as a fan of Marnelle Garraud and the Garraud family, I certainly wish her all the best. She’s a great kid.”
Garraud met her new teammates at a Nobles and Greenough summer basketball camp last week. She is currently playing for the Michael Carter Williams (MCW) Stars AAU basketball team that is based in Beverly. Carter Williams, a guard for the Milwaukee Bucks, is the cousin of Kayla Carter, who was Garraud’s teammate at St. Mary’s.
Garraud is already drawing the attention of Division 1 college basketball programs. In fact, Boston College has offered her a scholarship to attend the school. BC is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Brown University, a member of the Ivy League, has also been in correspondence with Garraud, who has not made a decision yet about college.
Arguably one of the best sophomore players in Massachusetts this past season, Garraud is also bringing a an impressive academic record to Nobles. Garraud was a high honor roll student at St. Mary’s and is ranked among the top students academically in her class.
“St. Mary’s has such tremendous, caring teachers and [Head of School] Mrs. Grace Cotter Regan is a great lady and was very supportive,” said Garraud. “Mr. [Jim] Foley [her soccer coach] was a great person and great mentor. Mr. [Mike] Jalbert is a fantastic history teacher and he’s a great person and mentor, too.”
Garraud, who began playing basketball in the fifth grade at the Sacred Heart School in Lynn, said she will treasure the memories of her St. Mary’s experience. She recalled the trips to Cape Cod, the two wins over Cape powerhouse Martha’s Vineyard, one coming in the final of the Spartan Classic, and the positive interactions with her teammates, whom she intends to follow upon her return trips to Lynn.
“The trips to Cape Cod were fun and really brought us close together,” said Garraud. “We really pulled together after Temi [Felayi] went down with a foot injury in the game on the Cape. I will be back to visit. I’m boarding at Nobles for five days so I’ll be back on the weekends. Those are my girls at St. Mary’s. They’ve been so supportive. We’re really close. I promised them that I would go to their games and they promised me that they would come to my games so we’ll be supporting each other.”
Marnelle is the daughter of Philippe Garraud and Marinelle Garraud, who both work in the medical profession as nurses. Her older brother, Philip is a St. Mary’s graduate and a student at UNH. A younger brother, Marc, is a rising sixth-grade basketball player in David Brown’s North Shore Ballarz AAU program.