It’s been two years since rising basketball star Terrence Clarke died. The Boston native was killed in a car crash on his way home from a workout in Los Angeles in April 2021. He was 19 years old.
The 6-foot-7 wing had recently finished his first NCAA season with the Kentucky Wildcats and had declared for the 2021 NBA draft the month before he died. The teen athlete who was expected to be a first-round selection on his way to likely NBA stardom was mourned across the country, including here at home by the Boston Celtics and at New Hampshire’s Brewster Academy, where he led the team to the 2019 National Prep Championships and had them back in the 2020 finals before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the rest of the event.
Loved ones in Boston are remembering 19-year-old college basketball star Terrence Clarke, who was killed in a crash.
“It’s been two years and it’s still fresh on everybody’s minds,” Clarke’s dad Adrian Briggs said Saturday at a special event held in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood that combined Clarke’s two loves — basketball and community.
Briggs knows his son would be proud of the first annual TC 5 Community Gift Back held in his honor.
“It’s hard doing something like this, for me. It’s hard,” he shared, “but Terrence is looking down smiling.”
Melissa Valdez, the Celtics arena host, helped emcee the event, saying, “It’s such a beautiful thing to see the community come together, number one to keep his memory living on forever but it’s also Thanksgiving. So not only are they doing this on behalf of his name, there’s a Turkey drive, there’s pizzas, they’re giving away gift cards, the kids are playing.”
A three-point contest, dunk contest, photo booth, raffles and prizes were organized by friends and family, including Katrina Martin.
“This is amazing! Just to see people who still have love, who still want to support, who came out to just talk to us and hang out and watch basketball, eat some pizza, get turkeys,” Martin said. “It’s such an amazing thing and I know it’s what he would have wanted.”
Boston native Terrence Clarke, a 19-year-old basketball star at Kentucky, was killed in a crash in Los Angeles.
While Terrence has been gone two years, his memory lives on and his loved ones are making sure he won’t be forgotten.
“He has left such a great legacy,” Valdez said.
“I would like the kids to see that anything’s possible if you put your mind to it and you work to it,” Briggs said. “Terrence had a strong work ethic… He would wake me up in the morning to go play basketball.”
Basketball was Clarke’s gift, but he had an affinity for community. That’s what Lavish Habits, the organizers of Saturday’s event, say they want to continue pouring into — people in the neighborhood daring to dream.
The first annual community gift back, which was held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the BCYF Vine Street Community Center on Dudley Street where Clarke played basketball growing up, drew praise from Clarke’s former college coach.
“I’m so thankful to all those who put the event together in his name,” Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari wrote on social media. “He was so proud of his community, and if he were playing in the NBA today, he would be giving back the same way the volunteers are right now.”