NBA hopeful Terrence Clarke, 19, killed in ‘high-speed’ car crash after ‘running red light’ in LA

NBA hopeful Terrence Clarke has been killed in a 'high-speed' car crash after 'running a red light' in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old was being tipped to become one of basketball's new stars.

Last month he declared for the NBA draft after playing his freshman season for the University of Kentucky, but died just a day after signing with a top sports agency.

The promising shooting guard's vehicle collided with a truck after 'running a red light' at 'high speed', according to an officer from the Los Angeles Police Department.

The city's Fire Department was first on the scene and 6ft 7ins Clarke was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries on Thursday.

The university announced Clarke's death in a statement but did not include any more details.

Kentucky 'Wildcats' coach John Calipari said he was 'absolutely gutted and sick', describing the rising star as a 'beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy'.

Calipari said: "We are all in shock. I am on my way to Los Angeles to be with his mother and his brother to help wherever I can.

"This will be a difficult period for all those who know and love Terrence, and I would ask that everyone take a moment tonight to say a prayer for Terrence and his family. May he rest in peace."

LAPD Sergeant John Matassa, who works in the Valley Traffic Division, told ESPN that Clarke was a solo occupant in a vehicle that ran a red light going at a very high rate of speed in the San Fernando Valley area.

Matassa said surveillance video showed that Clarke collided with another vehicle preparing to turn left, hit a street light pole and then a wall.

Clarke was taken to Northridge Hospital Medical and later pronounced dead.

Matassa said the truck driver did not suffer any injuries.

Clarke was driving a 2021 Hyundai Genesis and not wearing his seat belt properly, according to Matassa.

He entered the NBA draft last month after playing in just eight games last season because of a right leg injury. He averaged 9.6 points and 2.6 rebounds.

On Wednesday, Clarke and former Kentucky team-mate Brandon Boston Jr. signed with Klutch Sports Group.

Agency CEO Rich Paul announced on Twitter they are saddened and devastated by Clarke's passing and called him 'an incredibly hard-working young man'.

From Boston, Clarke started Kentucky's first six games and was one of its top scorers, highlighted by a career-best 22 points in a loss to Georgia Tech on December 6.

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The injury ultimately sidelined him for the entire Southeastern Conference regular-season schedule, though he returned to post three assists and two points off the bench in the Wildcats SEC Tournament loss to Mississippi State to end the season.

Despite his limited action, Clarke announced his decision to enter the NBA draft on March 19 and said he didn't expect to be injured.

But he understood that it was part of the game and thanked Calipari and team-mates among many.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens heard reports about the crash and Clarke's death shortly after his team beat the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

Clarke was familiar to the Celtics, their players and even Stevens' son.

Stevens said: "Not sure how much I want to talk about the game, when you consider he's a Boston kid … those kids are important to us here.

"I never met him. My son looks up to him. Hard to talk about a basketball game."

Clarke is survived by his parents, Osmine Clarke and Adrian Briggs, and his three siblings, Tatyana Gray, Gavin Clarke and Madison Adrianne.

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