BASKETBALL star Terrence Clarke has been killed in a car crash in Los Angeles, just a day after signing with a top sports agency.
The 19-year-old, who in March 2021 declared for the NBA draft after playing his freshman season for the University of Kentucky (UK), was a promising shooting guard and had been tipped to become one of the sport’s new stars.
Who was Terrence Clarke?
Clarke was a rising basketball ace who had entered the NBA draft, after playing in just eight games in the 2020 season due to a right leg injury.
He averaged 9.6 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Clarke was from Boston, and had completed his freshman season at UK.
He was reportedly preparing for the 2021 NBA Draft.
Clarke started Kentucky’s first six games and was one of its top scorers, highlighted by a career-best 22 points in a loss to Georgia Tech on December 6, 2020.
The injury ultimately sidelined him for the entire Southeastern Conference regular-season schedule, though he returned to post three assists and two points off the bench in the Wildcats SEC Tournament loss to Mississippi State that ended a 9-16 season.
Despite his limited action, Clarke announced his decision to enter the NBA draft on March 19, 2021, and said in a release that he didn’t expect to be injured.
But he understood that it was part of the game and thanked Kentucky “Wildcats” Coach John Calipari and teammates among many.
Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens heard reports about the crash and Clarke’s death shortly after his team beat the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, April 22, 2021.
Clarke was familiar to the Celtics, their players and even Steven’s son.
Stevens said: “Not sure how much I want to talk about the game, when you consider hes a Boston kid … those kids are important to us here.
“I never met him. My son looks up to him. Hard to talk about a basketball game.”
What happened to Terrence Clarke?
The promising shooting guard’s vehicle collided with a truck after “running a red light” at “high speed”, according to an officer from the Los Angeles Police Department.
The city’s Fire Department was first on the scene and 6 foot 7 inch Clarke was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries on Thursday, April 22, 2021.
The university announced Clarke’s death in a news release but did not include any more details.
Coach Calipari said he was “absolutely gutted and sick” and called the player a “beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy”.
We are all in shock, Calipari said. “I am on my way to Los Angeles to be with his mother and his brother to help wherever I can.
“This will be a difficult period for all those who know and love Terrence, and I would ask that everyone take a moment tonight to say a prayer for Terrence and his family. May he rest in peace.”
Clarke is survived by his parents, Osmine Clarke and Adrian Briggs, and his three siblings: Tatyana Gray, Gavin Clarke and Madison Adrianne.