On Thursday, Terrence Clarke, a freshman guard for the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team this past season, died following a car accident in the Los Angeles area. Clarke had declared for the NBA Draft in March and recently announced that he signed with Klutch Sports. He was only 19 years old at the time of his passing and basketball fans around the globe poured in their tributes towards Clarke.
Earlier on Thursday, Terrence Clarke's accident grabbed headlines after it was reported that the basketball prospect was involved in a horrific car crash in LA. Clarke was in LA preparing for the NBA Draft, for which he’d declared after the season ended. He had also recently signed with the Klutch agency and projected to be a second-round pick in the upcoming draft. Clarke averaged 9.6 points per game for Kentucky last season, but was limited to eight games and missed SEC play with a leg injury.
Terrence Clarke, a freshman guard for the Kentucky Wildcats this past season, died following a car accident in the Los Angeles-area on Thursday afternoon, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told @wojespn.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 23, 2021
He was 19 years old. pic.twitter.com/4rCEK5ceLu
According to reports from WKYT, Clarke and Kentucky teammate, BJ Boston, were leaving a workout when the accident occurred, and Clarke died on the way to the hospital. Boston was reportedly in the car behind him. LAPD Seargent John Matassa, who works in the Valley Traffic Division, told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that Clarke was a solo occupant in a vehicle that ran a red light going "at a very high rate of speed" in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles at approximately 2:10 PM PT.
Matassa said, "The incident was captured on surveillance video. He collided with another vehicle that was preparing to make a left-hand turn. He struck the vehicle, hit a street light pole, and ultimately hit a block wall. He was transported to Northridge Hospital and was later pronounced deceased as a result of the collision."
According to Matassa, Clarke was not wearing his seat belt properly when the crash occurred. Matassa then admitted that the driver of the other vehicle, who was in a truck, did not claim any injuries. Clarke was driving a 2021 Hyundai Genesis at the time of the accident and later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. Clarke's mother was at his side when he died, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Kentucky coach John Calipari, in a statement, said that the entire team was left in shock at Clarke's untimely, tragic demise, "I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight. 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."
Rest In Peace Terrence Clarke 🙏🏽😢 absolutely devastating to say the least— Cassius Stanley (@cassius_stanley) April 23, 2021
My heart is extremely heavy right now! 🥺 HUG YOUR LOVED ONES! Prayers up to my man Terrence Clarke’s Family! ❤️ MUCH LOVE BRO! #riptclarke— Tyrese Maxey (@TyreseMaxey) April 23, 2021