BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics picked up a big win against one of the best teams in the NBA on Thursday night. But just as soon as that final buzzer sounded, the team learned the devastating news that a promising young basketball prospect from Boston had died in a car accident.
Following the Celtics’ 99-86 win over the Phoenix Suns in Boston, Kemba Walker spoke to the media about the shocking news on 19-year-old Terrence Clarke.
“I did [know him], yes, yes, very well. Very well. Very, very, very tough. Very tough news, man,” Walker said. “He was a very good kid, you know? Just always smiling, always energetic. And he was about to get his opportunity, too. My condolences to his family. It’s a tough time, man. That’s really tough news to hear. I don’t know what else to say. It’s kind of tough. Kind of mind-boggling to hear something like that, especially after a game. So yeah.”
Celtics coach Brad Stevens spoke to the media when news of Clarke’s death had been reported but not confirmed. Stevens tried to answer the first question about the game but had to stop himself and end his media session early.
“To be honest, as I was walking down the hallway I just heard this news about Terrence Clarke, and I’m not sure how much I want to talk about the game. When you consider it 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. And those kids are important to us here,” Stevens said. “Even though I never met him, my son looks up to him. Hard to talk about a basketball game with even the idea that that’s floating out there. I pray that that’s not true. But yeah.”
Condolences to Terrence Clarke’s family. He had a bright future ahead but had already made a huge impact off the court in the City of Boston.
RIP TC 💚 pic.twitter.com/xsfL1KZg7n
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 23, 2021
Jaylen Brown didn’t play on Thursday night, so he did not speak to the media. He did, however, mourn the loss of his “lil bro” with a series of Instagram posts.
“Words can’t even explain fr,” Brown wrote. “What I hate the most the world didn’t even get to see how much potential you really had I hate you left with that on you.”
Brown then urged the NBA to make sure that Clarke gets posthumously drafted in July: “@nba let my lil bro name get called this year we need that.”
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) April 23, 2021
Clarke, a Dorchester native, played in high school at the Rivers School in Weston and Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, where he won a national prep championship in 2019 and was part of a 34-3 team that reached the finals again prior to the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020. He was named New England Prepatory School Athletic Council AAA Player of the Year, earning a spot in the McDonald’ All American Game, the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic, and the Jordan Brand Classic.
— Danny Ainge (@danielrainge) April 23, 2021
A top high school recruit last year, he played his freshman season at the University of Kentucky. He was expected to be drafted in this summer’s draft.