Due to the pandemic and his injury, fans didn’t get a chance to know Terrence Clarke as well as other Kentucky players in the past, but as the tributes continue to pour in for the 19-year-old, the impact he had on his hometown of Boston, Ma. becomes clear.
The best remembrance of Clarke I’ve seen this morning comes from The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, who got to know him as he became a star on the Boston hoops scene. Weiss, who was working on a longform feature on Clarke to publish ahead of this summer’s NBA Draft, recalled how much Clarke loved the city of Boston, even though he finished his high school career at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, a two-hour drive away.
He knew what he had on the line. He was not just playing for his own success, for more designer jackets or friendships with NBA stars. Clarke came from a city that needed him. Boston hasn’t had a homegrown star since Patrick Ewing. When he made his college announcement, he did it at the Vine Street Community Center in the heart of the city in Roxbury, where he honed his game as a child. He was endlessly proud to prove that Boston could produce great athletes and great people from every part of the city.
Poised to become the city’s next great hope, Clarke was well-known in the community, a fixture at Boston Celtics games. He worked out with Jayson Tatum, Javonte Green, and Jaylen Brown. Last night, Celtics coach Brad Stevens stopped his postgame press conference to address Clarke’s passing, telling reporters how much his son looked up to him. Kemba Walker remembered his smile and infectious energy
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
Kemba Walker: “Very, very tough news. Terrence Clarke was a very good kid. Always smiling, always energetic” pic.twitter.com/DPrbFR32Eb
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 23, 2021
Terrence Clarke – “Me being from Boston, if I was to play in this gym (TD Garden), I’d be blessed as ever. I’m working my hardest so I can put on for my city.” pic.twitter.com/nC6dKH9Fqu
— BostonCelticsForever (@BostonCelts4eva) April 23, 2021
This picture by Tim Lang at a Celtics game shows Clarke cheering his favorite team on:
Gone too soon. RIP Terrence Clarke ?
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) April 23, 2021
This morning, Boston news reporter Kelly Sullivan captured this picture of flowers outside the Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury, where Clarke announced his commitment to Kentucky on September 14, 2019.
A man just left roses at the community center in Roxbury where Terrence Clarke first developed as a basketball player. pic.twitter.com/1PJLwx1h5V
— Kelly Sullivan (@ksullivannews) April 23, 2021
As we grapple with the loss, let’s remember Terrence through videos and pictures from that happy day in September 2019.
If you get a moment today, I encourage you to read Weiss’ article, which is unlocked and free to all readers.
UPDATE: This tweet from Clarke’s kindergarten teacher is heartbreaking.
I was honored to be Terrence Clarke’s kindergarten teacher. As a child, he was always filled with THIS kind of joy and wonder. There has always been a special place in my heart for him and today that place is completely broken. Love to everyone who knew him. xo pic.twitter.com/15N2JZ8g8d
— Ianalay Osgrovecay (@Yellowpeep007) April 23, 2021