NBA draft prospect Terrence Clarke dies in car crash

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Former University of Kentucky basketball player Terrence Clarke died in a car crash on Thursday in Los Angeles, according to the school.

The 19-year-old guard ran a red light at a high speed, hit a car making a left turn and went on to hit a pole and a block wall, the LAPD told CBS affiliate WKYT in Lexington, Ky. The accident occurred at 2:10 Pacific Time and Clarke was not properly wearing his seat belt, the outlet reported.

Clarke and former Wildcats teammate BJ Boston, who was reportedly in the car behind him, were leaving a joint workout. Clarke was pronounced dead at Northridge Hospital. Boston is OK, according to the LA Daily news, but it’s unclear whether he suffered any injuries. Clarke and Boston both recently signed with the Klutch Sports agency.

“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said in a statement. “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.  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 6-foot-7 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, 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.”

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