Credit: Mississippi State Athletics
Mississippi State women’s basketball’s Jessika Carter was named a finalist for the 2023 Lisa Leslie Award for the nation’s best center, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday.
The Selection Committee for the Lisa Leslie Award comprises top women’s college basketball personnel, including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. Carter, who has been on the awards watch list since the preseason, has made it to the top five for her strong play on the court. Later this month, the finalists will be presented to Lisa Leslie and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
Fans can support Carter by participating in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, starting today on hoophallawards.com. The Fan Vote will count as one committee vote during the finalist selection process.
Carter, a Waverly Hall, Ga. native, earned Second Team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team honors last week and has also been named a finalist for the Gillom Trophy, presented annually to the best women’s basketball player in the state of Mississippi.
Carter has been one of the best post players in the country all season, finishing second in the SEC in total blocked shots (58) and blocks per game (2.2) while being just one of two SEC players to average at least two blocks per contest this season. On the offensive end, Carter averaged 14.8 points per game, good for the 12th-best scoring average in the SEC, and finished fifth in rebounding at 7.7 boards per game. Carter was one of just two SEC players to finish top 15 in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots this season. On the national side, Carter’s total blocks ranked 24th in the NCAA, while her blocks per game ranked 20th.
Carter is having a career year under first-year head coach Sam Purcell. She is averaging a career-high 14.8 points per game to go along with her 7.7 rebounds per contest, and she is just three blocked shots shy of setting a new single-season high. Carter has also established a career mark with 38 assists; her previous high was just 16 during the 2020-21 season while also being just six steals away from a new career-high of 24.
Lisa Leslie Finalists
- Mackenzie Holmes – Indiana
- Monika Czinano – Iowa
- Jessika Carter – Mississippi State
- Aliya Boston – South Carolina
- Elizabeth Kitley – Virginia Tech