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LeBron James, Jaylen Brown mourn Boston basketball star Terrence Clarke: ‘Words can’t even explain’

Boston native Terrence Clarke was killed Thursday in a car accident in Los Angeles.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

The death of Terrence Clarke, the Boston preps phenom who was headed to the NBA Draft, sent shockwaves around the basketball world on Thursday night.

Celtics star Jaylen Brown was considered a mentor for Clarke, who spent one season at Kentucky.

“He’s a good kid, a really good kid,” Brown said of Clarke in 2019. “He’s talented. I’ve been giving him advice and stuff like that, but a kid like that doesn’t really need too much. He’s going to experience things and learn for himself, and he’s going to be an NBA player someday. So I’m not taking credit for his growth or anything, but I’ve enjoyed trying to help him. It’s nice to try to be a mentor to someone like that.”


On Instagram, Brown shared a photo of him and Clarke.

“Words can’t even explain,” he wrote. “What I hate the most [is] the world didn’t even get to see how much potential you really had. I hate you left with that on you.”

Brown also called on the NBA to make Clarke a draft pick in July’s draft.

“We need that.”

LeBron James also posted on Instagram a photo of Clarke, adding the comment: “Rest in paradise, nephew.”

After the Celtics beat the Suns on Thursday night, news of Clarke’s death trickled through social media.

Before the news was confirmed, Celtics coach Brad Stevens offered his immediate thoughts on the tragedy.

“Those kids are important to us here,” he said. “And even though I’ve never met him, I know my son looks up to him, and it’s hard to talk about a basketball game.”

Kemba Walker said after the game that he knew Clarke “very, very well.”

“He was a good kid, always s

Kemba Walker said after the game that he knew Terrence Clarke “very, very well.


“He was a good kid, always smiling. It’s a tough time, man. That’s really tough.”

In a statement issued at 11 p.m. Thursday night, Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari said he was “absolutely gutted and sick tonight” upon hearing of Clarke’s death.

“A young person who we all love has just lost his life too soon, one with all his dreams and hopes ahead of him.”

Calipari said he was heading to California to help Clarke’s family. Clarke’s mother was with her son when he died.

Other reaction:

Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac.