The Basketball Community Mourned The Loss Of Kentucky’s Terrence Clarke

Former Kentucky guard and NBA Draft hopeful Terrence Clarke has reportedly passed away due to an automobile accident. Clarke, who was a freshman at Kentucky during the 2020-21 season, was only 19 years old.

WKYT in Lexington first reported the news, reporting that Clarke and Kentucky teammate BJ Boston were in Los Angeles for a workout, with Boston in a car behind Clarke when the tragic accident took place. Clarke reportedly passed away en route to a local hospital. The news was confirmed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who released a statement from Rich Paul of Klutch Sports who had recently signed Clarke.

Clarke’s one season in Lexington was marred by injury, as he appeared in only eight games. Still, Clarke showed reverence for his time at Kentucky in a mid-March announcement that he would be foregoing his remaining collegiate eligibility to enter the 2021 NBA Draft.

“As an adolescent, having the privilege to put on the Kentucky uniform and play in front of the BBN was always a lifelong goal of mine,” said Clarke. “Although it was hindered due to things out of my own control, the experience is something I will keep with me forever. I have grown a lot with this experience and I will never take it for granted. After discussing it with my family, I have decided to renounce my eligibility and declare for the NBA Draft. I had high expectations coming into this season and, of course, didn’t expect to be injured, which I understand is part of the game. Thank you to Coach Cal, the coaching staff and my teammates! BBN, I hope to make you all proud as a I pursue my dreams.”

Just one day ago, Clarke announced that he would be signing with Klutch Sports Group as he looked to start his professional career.

After Clarke announced his decision to enter the NBA Draft, Kentucky head coach John Calipari complemented his character.

“This was not an easy decision for Terrence, who I admire for how he handled adversity, stuck with it and battled back to be there for his teammates in the SEC Tournament game,” Calipari said. “Terrence has unbelievable ability and upside, and my only disappointment for him is that he didn’t have a chance to build on what he started because of the leg injury…. Terrence showed me a lot this year in how he handled the hand he was dealt and became a great teammate. Like Jarred Vanderbilt, who had a similar challenge, I really believe Terrence’s best days are ahead of him. I will be rooting like crazy for him and I know our fans will be as well.”

A former McDonald’s All-American and consensus five-star prospect, Clarke had considerable promise on the basketball court. Still, this is a devastating loss that goes far beyond the hardwood, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this impossibly difficult time. Kentucky coach John Calipari released a statement on Thursday night offering thoughts, prayers, and sympathies to the Clarke family.

Brad Stevens learned of the loss of the Boston native after the Celtics game and cut his press conference short, noting the heartbreaking news of Clarke’s tragic death, and other Celtics were asked about Clarke as many had formed relationships with the young man.

A number of NBA players learned of the news on social media and expressed the devastation of the basketball community at his loss and offered their condolences to his family and friends.