Terrence Clarke, who recently joined an elite list of University of Kentucky basketball stars who left the blue-blooded program early to pursue dreams of playing in the NBA, was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles on Thursday, the university said. He was 19 years old.
The accident happened shortly after 2pm northwest of downtown, when a vehicle turning onto Nordhoff Street was hit wide by another car driving down Winnetka Avenue and passed a red light, Officer William Cooper, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said Thursday in the evening.
He said that the driver of the car with the width, which he could not identify, later died from injuries sustained in the accident. Additional details about the accident were not immediately available.
“I’m absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” John Calipari, head coach of the University of Kentucky, said Thursday night. “The young person we all love just lost her life too soon, the one who has all her dreams and hopes.”
Calipari said he was traveling to Los Angeles to be with Clarke’s family and provide assistance.
“Terrence Clarke was a wonderful child, someone who owned a room with his personality, smile and joy,” he said. “People gravitated to him, and to hear that we lost him, it’s hard for all of us to understand now. We are all in shock. ”
A shooter who was one of the best recruits in the country last year, Clarke scored brilliantly early in his freshman season for the Wildcats under Calipari, but injuries bypassed him during the game at the Southeast Conference.
Last month, the Boston man decided to give up the remaining qualifiers and become a professional after the University of Kentucky missed the NCAA tournament, an anomaly for the established basketball program.