Terrence Clarke, a basketball player for the University of Kentucky, has died in a fatal car crash. The 19-year-old who had enlisted as NBA draft died on Thursday afternoon after crashing into another vehicle that veered to make a left turn. Video footage released by the LAPD Valley Traffic department showed that Clarke’s car hit a brick wall and also a light pole before he lost consciousness, CBS News reports.
The rising basketball star was rushed off to the Northridge Hospital where he gave up the ghost due to the extensive injuries he sustained. The Kentucky head coach, John Calipari, announced Clarke’s death, saying the young man had a personality that pulled the crowd.
“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.”
Teammates Isaiah Jackson and Keion Brooks Jr. also expressed shock at Clarke’s death, saying they would give anything to have a time together with him again, ESPN wrote.
In March, Clarke reportedly got an agent after revealing he was enlisting for the NBA draft. He had revealed that his lifelong dream was to don the team uniform of the Kentucky Wildcats and possibly move up to the NBA. He said he would never take the privilege of wearing the Kentucky uniform for granted since it had provided him with the immense experience to proceed to the NBA.
The president of his new agency expressed sadness at his death, saying his demise is a terrible blow for everyone.
“We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke,” he said. “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.”
The LAPD said Clarke was driving a 2021 Hyundai Genesis at top speed and was not wearing his seatbelt properly when he hit the truck that was about to turn to the left. He was the only person in the car and the occupant of the other truck did not suffer any harm. Clarke’s mother was at his hospital bedside before he died.