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Las Vegas Aces Announce Three Additions to Sports Medicine Staff

April 19, 2024 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Las Vegas Aces News Release

LAS VEGAS - The two-time defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces today announced three additions to their sports medicine staff. Ciara Burgi joins the team as director of health and performance, Jerrica Thomas will serve as the lead rehabilitation specialist and Bryson Creer is the new lead athletic trainer.

"We are excited to announce that Ciara Burgi, Jerrica Thomas and Bryson Creer are joining the Aces as part of our sports performance team," said Las Vegas Aces president Nikki Fargas. "The physical and mental well-being of our players is always our highest priority. Ciara, Jerrica and Bry are among the best in the business in their respective fields, and will play an important role in our quest for a three-peat this summer."

Burgi, who earned a doctorate in physical therapy from Duke University in 2014, joins the Aces after three-plus years with the NFL Houston Texans, where she spent the past two years as the return to performance lead for the team. While there she co-created and implemented an athlete-centered interdisciplinary return to performance system, ensuring continuity of care for injured athletes across the disciplines of athletic medicine, strength and conditioning, sport science, and nutrition.

Prior to her work with the Texans, Burgi served as a physical therapist for Duke Athletics for three years, merging physical therapy, strength and conditioning and sport science to maximize athlete potential and enhance the student-athlete experience. Burgi completed an NCAA Division I Athletics fellowship at Duke University, a manual therapy fellowship through Institute for Athlete Regeneration and is a sports residency trained physical therapist, in addition to being a board-certified clinical specialist in both sports and orthopedic physical therapy.

As director of health and performance for the Aces, Burgi will be tasked with building a modern, cutting-edge high-performance team, co-creating systems and processes with Thomas, Creer and lead performance coach Jeremiah Welch to maximize the athlete experience, athlete health and preparedness and athlete development with the mission of continuing to elevate the championship standard.

Thomas, who will be supporting the 2024 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team in Paris, is a board-certified sports clinical specialist with 10 years of experience. She comes to the Aces from USA Track & Field, where she has worked since 2019. For USA Track & Field, Thomas collaborated with health care team members to prepare athletes for elite performance at competitions around the world, while promoting injury risk reduction and safe return to play for Olympians and world champions.

In 2019 she also launched her own physical therapy and rehab company where she served professional athletes and weekend warriors on a concierge basis. Thomas graduated from Arkansas State University with her doctorate in physical therapy in 2014 and earned her bachelor's degree in kinesiology and exercise science from Louisiana Monroe in 2011.

Thomas is passionate about empowering athletes by providing an unsurpassed commitment to whole person care. As a member of the Aces health and performance team, Thomas will use her diverse clinical skillset to maximize the potential of each athlete and will lead the recovery and regeneration program for the team. Passionate about education and service, she will co-lead initiatives that prioritize educational and social impact ranging from the global female athlete health professional community to the local Las Vegas community.

A 2017 BYU graduate in exercise science, Creer earned a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University in 2020 and a Master of Science in athletic training from BYU. Creer, who was part of the Oklahoma City Thunder sports medicine staff during the 2022-23 season, returns to the WNBA after a sports medicine internship with the 2022 Phoenix Mercury

As a member of the Las Vegas health and performance team, Creer will be in charge of maximizing athlete health and safety during practices and games in addition to using his extensive professional basketball medical experience and clinical skillset to prepare the athletes to perform at an elite level. Creer will also co-lead educational and social impact initiatives with Thomas to promote and elevate clinical excellence in women's sports medicine throughout the WNBA and North America.

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