Kentucky shooting guard Terrence Clarke passed away on Thursday after sustaining fatal injuries during a car accident in Los Angeles, the University of Kentucky confirmed in a statement. Clarke was 19 years old.
WKYT in Kentucky reported that Clarke, who had declared for the 2021 NBA draft and was a potential second-round pick (ranked 72nd on ESPN’s board), had worked out with Wildcats teammate Brandon Boston Jr. before the accident occurred on Thursday afternoon.
The Valley Traffic Division of Los Angeles Police said that Clarke was the only person in the car at the time of the crash, per WKYT. He ran a red light going “at a very high rate of speed,” collided with another vehicle, then ran into a street pole and a block wall, according to police. Clarke was pronounced dead after being transported to Northridge Hospital.
“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement. “A young person who we all love has just lost his life too soon, one with all of his dreams and hopes ahead of him. Terrence Clarke was a beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy. People gravitated to him, and to hear we have lost him is just hard for all of us to comprehend right now. We are all in shock.”
Clarke only played in eight games for Kentucky as a freshman in 2020/21, as an ankle injury sidelined him for much of the college season. However, he was prepared to go pro, having signed with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports for representation.
“We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke,” Paul said in a statement, per ESPN. “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.”
Clarke grew up in Boston and had established with relationships with a handful of NBA players, including Celtics stars Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. They were hit hard on Thursday by the news of the 19-year-old’s passing.
“I did (know him), yes,” Walker said (via ESPN). “Yes, I did. Very well. Very well. Very, very, very tough. Very tough news, man. He’s a very, very good kid. Just always smiling, always energetic. And he was about to get his opportunity, too. My condolences to his family.”
We at Hoops Rumors also send our condolences to Clarke’s family and friends.