On Thursday night, the basketball world was rocked by the sudden loss of Kentucky basketball player Terrence Clarke.
Clarke, a 19-year-old Dorcester native, died in a fatal car accident on the way home from a workout in Los Angeles, per WKYT News. The 6-foot-7 wing had been preparing for the 2021 NBA Draft.
Clarke died on the way to the hospital while his Kentucky teammate BJ Boston, who had been in a car behind Clarke, is reportedly okay.
After the Boston Celtics' game against the Phoenix Suns, coach Brad Stevens spoke to the media about Clarke's death and was visibly impacted by his passing.
"To be honest, as I was walking down the hallway when I heard this news about Terrence Clarke," Stevens said while discussing the game against the Suns. "Not sure how much I want to talk about the game when you consider it.
"[He's] a Boston kid. I don't know what's real yet. I have not heard anything confirmed, but I've read what you've read. Those kids are important to us here. You know, I never met him, I know my son looks up to him. It's hard to talk about a basketball game even with the idea that's floating out there."
While Stevens didn't have a personal relationship with Clarke, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown did. The duo worked out with the Brewster prep star on off days before he went to Kentucky, per MassLive.com's Tom Westerholm. Clarke himself called Brown and Tatum two of his "big supporters" while Brown called Clarke a "super talented kid, who is going to have a bright future."
Kemba Walker echoed their thoughts when he was asked about Clarke after the Celtics-Suns game.
"He’s a very good kid. Just always smiling, always energetic. He was about to get his opportunity too," Walker said. "My condolences to his family. It’s a tough time. That’s really tough news to hear.
"I don’t even know what to say. It's mind-boggling to hear something like that, especially after the game."