LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky freshman guard Terrence Clarke, who recently declared for the NBA Draft, died in a car accident Thursday in Los Angeles.
The news was confirmed by WKYT Channel 27 in Lexington Thursday night. According to the station, Clarke and teammate BJ Boston were reportedly leaving a workout prior to the accident. Boston was reportedly following Clarke when the accident occurred.
“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “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.
“Terrence’s teammates and brothers loved him and are absolutely devastated. They know we are here for them for whatever they need."
Clarke, 19, was driving when he ran a red light and hit a car turning left, the report said. He was not wearing his seatbelt properly.
Several of his former Kentucky teammates began sending condolences messages onto their personal social media accounts as news broke out about the accident Thursday night.
“I am on my way to Los Angeles to be with his mother and his brother to help wherever I can," Calipari said. "This will be a difficult period for all those who know and love Terrence, and I would ask that everyone take a moment tonight to say a prayer for Terrence and his family. May he rest in peace.”
Clarke, a 6-foot-7 guard, played in just eight games last season while recovering from a leg injury. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and two assists per game.
“We are stunned by this sudden, heartbreaking tragedy,” said UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart. “Terrence was a young man who was so full of life and so full of promise. We hurt and grieve with his family, his friends, and his teammates and coaches, and our prayers are with all of them in this unimaginable loss.”
It was the second tragedy for the Wildcat basketball program in less than a year. Former UK basketball walk-on and baseball pitcher Ben Jordan died in January.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21.