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NBA Ceremonially Drafts Terrence Clarke, A Rising Star Who Died In An April Car Crash

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gives a memorial in honor of Terrence Clarke on Thursday during the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in New York City.
Arturo Holmes
/
Getty Images
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gives a memorial in honor of Terrence Clarke on Thursday during the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in New York City.

Terrence Clarke might have been celebrating today.

Earlier this year, the promising basketball guard was preparing for the NBA draft after completing his freshman year at the University of Kentucky.

But his career was tragically cut short in April when he died in a single-car crash in Los Angeles at age 19.

Although Clarke would never get the chance to play for the NBA, the league still welcomed him into its ranks during its draft on Thursday.

Terrence Clarke of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates in a game against the Kansas Jayhawks on Dec. 1, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Andy Lyons / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Terrence Clarke of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates in a game against the Kansas Jayhawks on Dec. 1, 2020, in Indianapolis.

Commissioner Adam Silver ceremonially drafted Clarke into the league in a tear-filled presentation attended by Clarke's mother, Osmine Clarke, and his two siblings at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

"His extraordinary talent, dedication and commitment to the game deserve to be recognized," Silver said, as Clarke's name and photos appeared on the event's giant screens. "He will forever be part of the NBA family."

Onstage, Osmine Clarke mouthed "thank you" to the crowd as audience members erupted in chants of "Terrence! Terrence! Terrence!"

Clarke played only eight games with the Kentucky Wildcats because of an ankle injury, according to the NBA, though many league scouts expected him to be drafted anyway.

After leaving the University of Kentucky, Clarke had signed with Klutch Sports, the agency associated with LeBron James and his agent, Rich Paul.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez

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