Terrence Clarke, 19, a Dorchester native, died in a car crash Thursday in Los Angeles.
BOSTON —Friends are remembering a Massachusetts native and college basketball standout who died in a car crash in California.
Kentucky freshman guard Terrence Clarke, 19, a Dorchester native, died in a car crash Thursday in Los Angeles. Police said he ran a red light and struck a truck, a light pole and a wall.
Clarke played high school basketball at the Rivers School in Weston before finishing his high school career at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
It was in Boston, where Clarke learned to play ball in the core of the city he called home.
This morning, I just didnt want to get out of the bed, said David Hinton, administrative coordinator of Vine Street Community Center. It was just a hurtful feeling. The staff is pretty devastated, as well.
Hinton said he saw an ambitious 10-year-old grow to be a basketball star.
When he first got here he wasnt that good, Hinton said. Probably about five or six years ago, he really took off, and he really became that great player.
The crash happened one month after Clarke declared for the NBA Draft. He was projected as a first-round pick.
Celtics all-star Jaylen Brown became a mentor. He posted a tribute to Clarke on Instagram, saying, My lil bro is really gone.
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Celtics coach Brad Stevens heard reports about the crash and Clarkes death shortly after his team beat the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. Clarke was familiar to the Celtics, their players and even Stevens son.
Not sure how much I want to talk about the game, when you consider hes a Boston kid … those kids are important to us here, Stevens said. I never met him. My son looks up to him. Hard to talk about a basketball game.
Always smiling, always energetic. He was about to get his opportunity, too, Celtics guard Kemba Walker said.
It was away from the limelight where Clarke really learned the game.
He was pretty modest. He played hard, and he became a really great player, but he never boasted or bragged about stuff like that, Hinton said.
Clarkes mother was at his side when he died on Thursday afternoon.
Clarke is survived by his parents, Osmine Clarke and Adrian Briggs, and his three siblings, Tatyana Gray, Gavin Clarke and Madison Adrianne.