Kentucky freshman guard Terrence Clarke, who recently declared for the NBA draft, died in a car accident in Los Angeles on Thursday night. He had just finished a workout with Wildcats teammate BJ Boston, who was in a car behind him. The freshman was just 19 years old.
Klutch Sports announced on Wednesday that they had signed Boston and Clarke. Boston has been confirmed to be OK following the accident.
“We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke,” Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN in a statement. “Terrence was an incredible, hard-working young man. He was excited for what was ahead of him and ready to fulfill his dreams. Our prayers go out to Terrence and his family, who ask for privacy during this difficult time.”
Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari issued a statement on his twitter account Thursday night:
“We are stunned by this sudden, heartbreaking tragedy,” Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky Director of Athletics, said per the school’s website. “Terrence was a young man who was so full of life and so full of promise. We hurt and grieve with his family, his friends, and his teammates and coaches, and our prayers are with all of them in this unimaginable loss.”
Clarke, who was a Boston native, has known and has worked out with Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for the past couple years.
In December of 2019, Clarke said this of their relationship:
“They kind of just influenced me to work hard every single day, especially on the off days, the days I come off of games, I talk to them every other day. They’re always working out, getting in the gym, preparing themselves for the extra games, stuff like that. Me being in the season, I work out with Jaylen, we work out, get shots in, 1-v-1s, stuff like that, just going at each other, make each other better. Jayson and Jaylen, those guys are big supporters for me.”
Tatum posted a tribute to Clarke on his Instagram Story on Thursday night.
Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens spoke about Clarke after the Celtic’s game Thursday night.
After battling through injuries during the 2020 season, Clarke was working his way back into shape and preparing for the NBA Draft, where he was viewed as a second-round prospect, despite only playing eight games at the collegiate level.