The Boston Celtics, NBA and New Balance joined together Sunday to unveil the brand new “Terrence Clarke Memorial Gym” in Roxbury.
Clarke — who grew up in Dorchester — starred in the area before taking his talents to Kentucky where he played under head coach John Calipari. The 19-year-old declared for the 2021 NBA Draft and was a projected first-round draft selection before passing away following a car accident in April.
Several Celtics players who knew Clarke were on scene Sunday for the unveiling of the new gym and one who was particularly close to the Wildcat was Jaylen Brown, who honored his “little brother” with a speech.
Brown returned to the court for the Celtics during Monday night’s win over the Houston Rockets after missing eight straight games and afterward talked about what Sunday meant to him.
“It meant the world. It meant the world to me. Obviously there were a lot of emotions for everybody. Some of the things you might’ve been distracted by and then being able to celebrate him, it brings all of those emotions back to the front,” Brown said. “He’s not around. He’s not here and things like that, it isn’t fair. That’s what sucks about it.
“But I said this yesterday, we have a saying we say in our families, ‘Energy lasts forever,’ and we truly believe that if we keep speaking his name and remembering him we think the energy will still be around. Terrence is no longer here with us today but as long as I’m here a piece of him lives with me and a piece of him lives with all of us. So I’m going to continue to celebrate him and his family for giving us Terrence because he was a great kid. He really was.”
The loss of Clarke was an absolute tragedy and hit close to home. The newly-dedicated gym will bear his name and feature a mural and will be a symbol to all of the kids in the area that they too could chase their dreams like he did.