Aces waive rookie center after two appearances

Las Vegas Aces forward Jessika Carter shoots during warmups before a WNBA basketball game again ...

Las Vegas Aces forward Jessika Carter shoots during warmups before a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm at Michelob ULTRA Arena on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The Aces waived rookie center Jessika Carter, the team announced Sunday.

Carter, 24, joined the back-t0-back WNBA defending champions after the team waived veteran forward Emma Cannon on June 16.

Carter played four minutes across two appearances with the Aces before being waived.

The 6-foot-5 Mississippi State alum was selected by the New York Liberty in the second round of April’s WNBA draft. She was waived by the Liberty before the season began.

Carter, in her first media availability with the Aces, emphasized how excited she was to play with one of her biggest influences: A’ja Wilson.

Wilson said June 24 she was impressed by Carter’s speed, adding the rookie was one of the “best running bigs I’ve seen in a minute.”

The compliment came after Carter’s first week in Las Vegas.

She noticed the Aces’ veterans gave her more critiques on the court than usual that day. She said she appreciated the feedback because she knew it meant they saw potential in her.

“We’re the type of team that we’re gonna let you feel it out for a couple of days. And then we’re gonna say it’s time to lock in. Now it’s time to obtain the information really quickly,” Wilson said.

Carter said the most difficult part of her transition to the Aces was learning their plays and executing them without thinking.

The problem isn’t unique to her. Players spanning from rookie Kate Martin to WNBA legend Candace Parker have pointed out the Aces’ unique NBA-esque terminology.

Carter was dedicated to learning, according to Aces assistant coach and head of player development Tyler Marsh. He said June 24 he couldn’t remember a single day since Carter’s arrival that they hadn’t dedicated extra time to watching film together and “testing her knowledge.”

Those efforts didn’t lead to significant playing while the Aces established a four-game streak of double-figure wins. The team has 11 remaining players with Carter waived. The Aces’ next game is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against star rookie Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever at T-Mobile Arena.