The heartbreaking news of Kentucky University starlet Terrence Clarke’s passing broke as the Los Angeles Lakers approached the tip-off of the 115-110 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
Clarke had been preparing for the 2021 NBA Draft after his freshmen season with Kentucky. But the 19-year-old guard died in a car crash just a day after signing a professional contract with Klutch Sports. Tributes instantly poured in from the NBA community following the tragic announcement.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, also a Klutch client, recalled learning about the accident coming out of the locker room ahead of the showdown with the Mavericks. “Words can’t even explain the feeling that his family is feeling and we’re all just praying for him, the family and just got to continue to keep his family strong,” he said.
“It’s hard to explain the feeling of that happening so suddenly. Didn’t really know the story but I kind of heard his mom and brother were following him at the time so I just couldn’t imagine just seeing that happen.”
Caldwell-Pope said it took a mental effort not to let the tragedy affect L.A. during the game. “It’s tough, but this is our job,” he said. “We got to try to, I want to say forget about it, just like brush it to the side for these 48 minutes, and then after that we can think about it, talk about it as much as possible.
“I feel like we just had to do that, have a blockage but not really block it out.”
LeBron James, Montrezl Harrell pay tribute to Clarke on Instagram
LeBron James, the face of Klutch Sports, who is still nursing his ankle injury, honored Clarke’s memory in a heartfelt Instagram post. He posted a dark-colored picture of the guard calling the 19-year-old his “nephew” in the caption.
James also added the hashtag #YoungKing to his tribute message:
Montrezl Harrell, who is also signed to Klutch Sports, also took to Instagram to send condolences:
It’s incredibly sad to see a 19-year-old that had such a bright future ahead of him have it all taken away like this. This serves as yet another reminder of how short life is and that everyone should cherish their loved ones while they’re still here.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!