Horror footage of crash that killed future NBA star Terrence Clarke

The basketball community is devastated over the death of NBA prospect Terrence Clarke.

The Kentucky Wildcats guard died in a car accident after leaving a workout in Los Angeles on Friday (AEST).

Clarke, 19, had announced last month that he was entering the 2021 NBA Draft and had signed with Klutch Sports — the same agency that reps stars such as LeBron James and Ben Simmons.

Clarke was in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles when the accident occurred at approximately 2.10pm local time, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. John Matassa said.

Clarke was driving a 2021 Hyundai Genesis that ran a red light going “at a very high rate of speed,” Matassa said, noting that Clarke was the only occupant in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Matassa said Clarke was not wearing his seat belt properly. “The incident was captured on surveillance video,” Matassa said. “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. He was transported to Northridge Hospital and was later pronounced deceased as a result of the collision.”

The person driving the other vehicle did not claim any injuries to police, according to ESPN.

NBA players, coaches devastated

NBA players, coaches and fellow draft prospects took to social media to share their condolences and memories with Clarke — who was close with many of the league’s stars, including Jazz point guard, Donovan Mitchell, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and more.


A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames)

Following news of Clarke’s death, an emotional Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens addressed the tragedy following the Celtics’ 99-86 win over the Suns on Thursday night. He noted that while he didn’t know Clarke — a Boston native — personally, his son looked up to the Kentucky product.

“Not sure how much I want to talk about the game when you consider he is a Boston kid,” Stevens said. “Those kids are important to us here. I never met him, I know my son looks up to him. Hard to talk about basketball.”

Celtics point guard Kemba Walker also spoke about Clarke’s promising future.

“Very, very tough news, man,” Walker said. “He was a very good kid. Always smiling, always energetic. He was about to get his opportunity, too. My condolences to his family. It’s a tough time. That’s really tough news to hear. I don’t even know what to say. It’s kind of mind-boggling to hear something like that, especially after a game.”

NBA draft hopeful Terrence Clarke died in a high-speed crash.Source:Getty Images

Clarke was already well-known among NBA players.Source:Getty Images

Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement he was “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,” Calipari said. “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. 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.”

The 200cm Clarke declared for the NBA draft last month after his freshman season in Lexington and was forgoing the rest of his eligibility. He was considered a likely first-round pick.

Clarke was limited to just eight games last season because of a right leg injury, averaging 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assist in eight games.

“We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke,” Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN. “He was an incredible, hardworking young man. He was excited for what was ahead of him and ready to fulfil his dreams. Our prayers go out to Terrence and his family, who ask for privacy during this difficult time.”

— New York Post

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