Clarke was among the top recruits in the 2020 class and spent one season at Kentucky. He had recently signed with Klutch Sports ahead of July’s NBA draft.
Former Kentucky guard and NBA draft prospect Terrence Clarke has reportedly died in a car accident in Los Angeles, according to WKYT Lexington. He was 19 years old.
Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul later confirmed the report to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, offering prayers to Clarke’s family in a statement.
“We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke,” Paul said. “He was an incredible, hard-working young man. He was excited for what was ahead of him and ready to fulfill his dreams. Our prayers go out to Terrence and his family, who ask for privacy during this difficult time.”
Clarke was reportedly in Los Angeles with former Kentucky teammate and fellow draft prospect BJ Boston. The pair were leaving a workout and had just signed with Klutch Sports on Wednesday.
Kentucky released a statement Thursday evening in which head coach John Calipari and athletics director Mitch Barnhart described Clarke as a “beautiful kid” who was “so full of life.”
“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” 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.”
Calipari said he was en route to Los Angeles to join Clarke’s family, including his mother and brother.
“We are stunned by this sudden, heartbreaking tragedy,” Barnhart said. “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.”
Clarke, one of the top recruits from the 2020 class, was limited to just eight games this season after suffering a foot injury. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 28.6 minutes per game, shooting 42.1% from the field.
Tarek Fattal of the Los Angeles Daily News later reported that Boston was OK and was driving behind Clarke when the accident occurred.
Other players around college basketball and the NBA offered condolences for Clarke: