University of Kentucky basketball player Terrence Clarke, who was a projected pick for the 2021 NBA Draft, has passed away at the age of 19.
On Thursday, WKYT reported that the athlete died in a car crash in Los Angeles after reportedly working out with fellow basketball star Brandon “BJ” Boston Jr.
Officials say the accident happened at 2:10 PST on Winnetka Avenue. Reportedly, Clarke was traveling at a high rate of speed when he ran a red light, hit another car turning left, and then hit a pole and block wall.
Police say Clarke was not wearing his seatbelt properly and was the only person in the car.
“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,” Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. John Matassa told ESPN. “He was transported to Northridge Hospital and was later pronounced deceased as a result of the collision.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Clarke’s mother was at his side when he died.
TMZ reports Boston was reportedly in the car behind Clarke when the accident occurred and is physically OK.
Matassa said the driver of the other vehicle, who was in a truck, did not claim any injuries.
In a statement, Kentucky head coach John Calipari said, “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.
“Terrence’s teammates and brothers loved him and are absolutely devastated. They know we are here for them for whatever they need. I am on my way to Los Angeles to be with his mother and his brother to help wherever I can,” he continued.
“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.”
I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight. I ask that everyone take a moment tonight to say a prayer for Terrence Clarke and his family. May he Rest In Peace. https://t.co/a1E1gysxxi pic.twitter.com/1unTygk4Tt— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 23, 2021
In March, Clarke declared himself for the 2021 NBA Draft, with experts projecting he would be a second-round pick.
Prior to this, the 6-foot-7 guard was one of the top prospects in the 2020 high school class and was ranked as high as No. 8 in the final Rivals rankings.
Clarke is survived by his parents, Osmine Clarke and Adrian Briggs, and his three siblings, Tatyana Gray, Gavin Clarke, and Madison Adrianne.
Our condolences go out to Terrence’s family and loved ones for their loss.