NBA Draft Prospect Terrence Clarke, 19, Dies in Car Crash in Los Angeles Area

Terrence Clarke, a beloved Freshman guard from the Kentucky Wildcats this past season, died in a car crash Thursday in the Los Angeles Area. Clarke was only 19 years old. 

Clarke was a star freshman at Kentucky this past year. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and shot 42.1% from the field in 28.0 minutes per game. He only played seven games to start the year and was injured most of the rest of the season. However, Clarke was a very highly touted prospect ready for the NBA. 

Details on the Car Crash

This past Thursday afternoon, Clarke was arriving home from a workout when the accident happened which ultimately led to his death. Clarke was driving by himself on Winnetka Avenue in Northridge at around 2:10 PT.

Surveillance video shows that Clarke was driving at a very high speed when he collided with a car attempting to make a left turn, and then hit a street light pole and ultimately hit a block wall in the process. This was confirmed by Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant John Matassa.

According to Matassa, Clarke was also not wearing his seatbelt when the accident happened. 

Clarke was taken to Northridge Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Terrence Clarke’s Was a Player with lots of Potential

Clarke was returning from a workout preparing for the upcoming NBA draft when he got into the car accident which ended his life. He attended Brewster Academy in the New Hampshire area. (Photo Courtesy of Mgtapes via Wikimedia Commons)

Clarke was a Boston area native where he played at Brewster Academy and was a five-star prospect at the Academy. He was known as a very prolific scorer and a very athletic shooting guard who had lots of potential.   

“He was a great kid, extremely talented. Just the person he was, he was always smiling,” said Boston Celtic forward Jayson Tatum when asked about Clarke and his memories of him.

Clarke in fact was set to go into the NBA, as he declared himself for this year’s upcoming NBA Draft. He was seen as a potential lottery pick at highest during the season and was ranked around late first round.

Clarke was one of the most highly touted players to come out of the Boston area in the past decade. 

After the news of his death, University of Kentucky head coach, John Calipari released a statement saying, “I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight. A young person who we all love has just lost his life too soon.”

Clarke’s Legacy

“Terrence Clarke was a beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy.”

Calipari set his way to Los Angeles to go be with his mother and the rest of Clarke’s family. 

On Friday, Clarke’s former Kentucky teammates held a vigil in remembrance of Clarke. Then, on Saturday, Clarke’s former AAU team held a touching tribute for Clarke. Clarke’s former AAU team held a tribute, holding a moment of silence before the game, where all players held up Clarke’s number, 5, which he wore at Kentucky.

Clarke’s remembrance as a highly loved Boston native, basketball player, and athlete lives on, as the city and basketball players around the nation mourn the death of Terrence Clarke.