College Basketball

Basketball world mourns death of rising star Terrence Clarke, 19

April 23

The basketball world is in mourning after news broke of the death of rising star Terrence Clarke.

Clarke, who recently completed his freshman season at Kentucky and declared for the NBA Draft last month, died following a car accident in the Los Angeles area.

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, who signed on as Clarke’s agent on Wednesday, confirmed the news to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

"We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke," Paul told ESPN. "Terrence 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."

ESPN reported that Clarke’s mother was at his side when he died. He was 19 years old.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Clarke was alone in a car going at a "very high rate of speed" when he ran a red light and hit another vehicle. The other driver, who was in a truck, did not claim to be injured, according to ESPN.

"I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight," Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement. "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."

That shock spread around the basketball world Thursday night and into Friday morning.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens struggled to talk about his game Thursday, saying that he hoped the news about Clarke, who was from Boston, wasn’t true.

Many others offered their condolences, including some of the biggest names in basketball such as LeBron James and Chris Paul.

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