Terrence Clarke: Boston Native Rises to Top-Five Ranking

Photo courtesy of Position Sports/Jon Lopez/Nike

By David Cordova

A couple of weeks ago, hundreds of young student-athletes showcased their talents at the Hoop Group Future All-American Camp at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Some of the best rising freshmen & sophomores played their hearts out in the grand finale of the summer season.

However, one player stood out above the rest, with his athleticism and natural flair for the game. Terrence Clarke dominated in camp from start to finish and showed why he’s one of the best players in the high school class of 2021.

The 6-foot-6 swingman, who is rated the No. 2 in his class by ESPN has a lot of athleticism, but also has good ballhandling skills and finesse in his game. His smoothness on the court sets him apart from many of his peers.

When asked about what motivates him to be successful on the court, he replied, “Right now, just being better. My mom, basically she works every day for me, so basically working out every day, doing what I can do to get better, for my mom.”

Clarke shoots a free throw at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia in June. (Photo courtesy of Adam Ayalew)

Clarke hails from Boston, a city not only known for the NBA’s Celtics, but also for good basketball in the New England area. When asked about being from Beantown, he replied, “Boston is a gritty city, you know there’s a lot of hate and there’s a lot of love, so me, I just stick the course. Being from Boston, everybody just taught me to stay the course, basically, and work on my educational needs, on school and stuff like that.”

On the basketball scene in Boston, Clarke added: “A lot of, it’s rough play. It’s kind of similar to New York, but we’ve got our own style to it. We don’t have a lot of 1-on-1 basketball, but we just try to work on being a good basketball player all-around.”

Like many other rising stars in the Boston area, instead of going to the local Catholic or public school, Clarke chose the prep school route, as he chose to attend The Rivers School in Weston, Massachussets, a private school located 15 miles west of the city.

Clarke goes airborne on a defender at the Hoop Group Future All-American Camp. (Photo courtesy of Visions by Jeff/Jeffrey Armstrong.)

“Just looking back at some of the alumni in prep school basketball,” said Clarke about his decision to leave the city and play for a prep school, “especially Brewster, with Jalen Adams, that’s at UConn, Donovan Mitchell, that’s now in the League, just knowing that’s gonna better me for my basketball game, and so I thought it was a good choice to choose.”

As a freshman, he averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Red Wings and made the All-NEPSAC Class B Team. When asked about his freshman season, Clarke replied, “My freshman year was pretty good, I averaged around 13 to 15 points, did as much as I could, but it was a learning experience, moving without the ball in my hands, it’s just kind of bettering me right now.”

On playing in the NEPSAC, short for the New England Prep Schools Athletic Conference, which is arguably one of the best high school leagues in the nation, “I know it’s going to be challenging, a lot of older guys, tougher guys, but I mean, it’s going to show me that I have a lot of work to do, just work on a lot of things.”

Clarke brings the ball up the court. (Photo courtesy of Visions by Jeff/Jeffrey Armstrong)

Over the spring and summer, Clarke played for Expressions Elite, a Boston-based program that plays on the Nike EYBL circuit, averaging 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and two assists per game.

When asked about playing for Expressions, Clarke replied, “At first, it was pretty challenging, I didn’t play a lot of minutes, but I did earn my minutes over time, as Peach Jam came around, I seen that EYBL was a little different, with tougher guys, older guys. I mean, it was a good showcase for me, I learned a lot going into next year.”

On being a highly-touted player in his class, Clarke replied, “It puts a target on my back, but I mean, I just go against a lot of high-level competition and it just showed that I’ve got to better myself every day. Being [on] top right now shows that hard work pays off, so I’m just working every day.”

The class of 2021 has a lot promise and even though they’re sophomores, Clarke and many others show that they have a lot of work to do and a lot of noise that they will do in the next two years.

Clarke goes up with a windmill dunk. (Photo courtesy of Visions by Jeff/Jeffrey Armstrong)

“A lot of versatile kids. You got me, Patrick Baldwin, Jonathan Kuminga, some more guys, their versatility is a little different. You got a lot of guards, it shows that 2021 is a good class, there’s a lot of good players in it,” said Clarke about his class.

As far as his recruitment, he added: “I picked up a couple of offers after Peach Jam, it’s been a good summer. I picked up nine to ten offers, schools like Syracuse, Indiana, Georgetown, Rutgers, BC [Boston College], a lot more schools, but it’s just been a learning experience.”

This spring and summer, Clarke also made plenty of noise at camps such as the Hoop Group Future All-American Camp, the Nike Elite 100 in St. Louis, Missouri, and the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the campus of the University of Virginia.

“I played against a lot of top competition,” said Clarke about his camp experiences. “Playing at Elite 100 against Jalen Johnson and I played at NBPA against Precious [Achiuwa], and you know, seeing guys like Scottie Lewis, and those type of guys, just shows that I got a lot more work to do to get better to get to my senior year. I mean playing, it just showed me a lot, especially the NBPA Camp, with the NBA scouts, it just showed that you have to play hard everywhere you go.”

His torrid play is what resulted in him winning the Hoop Group Future All-American Camp’s Most Oustanding Player award, which is given to the top player in the camp during that week.

This fall, Clarke will be attending national powerhouse, Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The program at Brewster have a big-time program that is a six-time winner of the NEPSAC Class AAA title and a five-time winner of the National Prep Championship. Also, they also offer a top-flight schedule and the chance to be recruited by plenty of schools around the nation.

When asked about transferring to Brewster, he replied, “Brewster just being one of the top high-level schools in the New England area, it kind of taught me that I can better my game there, and when you look at alumni like Jalen Adams, Donovan Mitchell, those types of guys that’s in the league right now, I just thought it would be a good decision for me.”

On his upcoming season at Brewster, he added: “To do as much as I can for my school team, definitely want to be the No. 1 team in the country, but for me right now, I’m just playing both sides of the hand, defense and offense, and {next] AAU season, I just want to win Peach Jam, that’s my main goal.”

Now that he’s going off to a bigger stage, you can expect to see and hear more of Terrence Clarke. For him, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Highlights of Terrence Clarke:

Courtesy of Hoop Diamonds.

Courtesy of Ballislife.

Courtesy of Hoop Group.

Courtesy of Ballislife Midwest.

Courtesy of Buzzer Beater Media.

Courtesy of Hoop Diamonds.

Courtesy of Buzzer Beater.

Courtesy of Primetime Hoops.

Courtesy of Hoop Nation TV Magazine.

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