Kentucky product Terrence Clarke likely would have been picked in the 2021 NBA Draft had he not been killed tragically in car accident in April.
The NBA, however, made sure to honor the late Clarke at the draft with a memorial video and a honorary selection midway through the first round. Clarke’s mother, brother, and sister we all in attendance, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the NBA had selected Clarke as an honorary draft pick with his family going up on stage to receive draft hats from the league. From there, the crowd chanted “Terrence” for a few moments.
— NBA (@NBA) July 30, 2021
“Before we continue, I’d like to take a moment to recognize Terrence Clarke,” commissioner Adam Silver said at the draft. “Terrence was an All-American star in the Boston area. He attended the University of Kentucky and, following his freshman year, declared for the draft and pursued his life-long dream of playing in the NBA.”
“Terrence was expected to be drafted tonight, but he tragically passed away in April following car crash,” Silver continued. “He was 19. His extraordinary talent, commitment and dedication to the game deserve to be recognized on this stage.”
“Please know he will forever be part of the NBA family,” Silver said.
His hometown Celtics also tweeted in memory of Clarke, as he had built some deep connections with players and coaches in Boston.
Rest In Peace, TC5️⃣🕊️
You represented your city proudly and will forever be a part of the NBA family. pic.twitter.com/Q9isuWNIFH
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 30, 2021
It was an emotional moment that will be, for many, one of the lasting moments of this Draft and a terrific gesture from the league to Clarke’s family.