Former Kentucky MBB player Terrence Clarke dies in car accident in Los Angeles


Kentucky Wildcats guard Terrence Clarke (5) is introduced before the University of Kentucky vs. Notre Dame basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Notre Dame won 64-63. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Braden Ramsey

WKYT has confirmed that former Kentucky men’s basketball player Terrence Clarke passed away in a car accident in Los Angeles earlier this evening. He was 19 years old.

“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a university press release. “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,” Cal continued. “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.”

“We are stunned by this sudden, heartbreaking tragedy,” Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said in the release. “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.”

WKYT reports that Clarke and former teammate B.J. Boston were leaving a workout when the crash occurred at 2:10 p.m. Pacific Time. According to the report, Boston was in the car behind Clarke, and Clarke died on the way to the hospital. WKYT confirmed the news with the Valley Traffic Division of Los Angeles Police.

Clarke suited up in the Blue and White for eight games in 2020-21 after coming to Lexington as a consensus top-ten prospect. He was limited to seven games of non-conference action and an appearance versus Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament due to an ankle injury.

The injury had a major impact on his production over his final two contests. In his five injury-free outings at the beginning of the season, Clarke put up averages of 13.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

The Brewster Academy product and Boston native declared for the NBA Draft on Mar. 19, describing his experience at Kentucky – wearing the uniform and playing in front of BBN – as a “lifelong dream” and “privilege”.

He revealed yesterday on Twitter that he signed with the Klutch Sports Group as his agency. Founded by Rich Paul, the group represents LeBron James and former UK players Anthony Davis, Eric Bledsoe and John Wall, among others.

The news of Clarke’s passing has led to an outpouring of emotion on social media from teammates, friends and basketball figures alike: