The legacy of Terrence Clarke

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 10, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTerrence Clarke was on the cusp of achieving the goal to which he had aspired for the 19 years of his life: a career in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In 2021, he was regarded as one of the best shooting guards in US colleges and universities (Kentucky Wildcats Basketball). All the major professional basketball teams wanted him to be a part of their programmes, but he wanted to play for the Boston Celtics. Terrence idolised Rajon Rondo, a member of the Boston Celtics from 2006 to 2014, and an elite member of the NBA.

As a child, he wore a green headband and wristband (green is the Celtics’ colour) daily as he walked around his house with a basketball tucked under his left arm. He was determined, as he said, to become “one of the greatest ball players of all time”.

It was on the final leg of this storied journey that Terrence met his untimely death. On April 21, he signed a contract with the Klutch Sports Group which represents several prominent NBA players, including LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The next day, he was killed in a motor vehicle accident in Los Angeles after he left a workout with BJ Boston, his former Kentucky teammate.

After his death, Rich Paul, founder of Klutch Sports, lamented: “We are saddened and devastated by the tragic loss of Terrence Clarke. He was an incredible, hard-working young man. He was excited for what was ahead of him and ready to fulfil his dreams.”

Terrence’s father, Adrian Briggs, was born in Fyzabad. His mother, Osmine Clarke, was born in Guyana. Terrence visited Trinidad many times during his formative years and was nurtured by his Trinidadian family who lived in Mattapan. His aunts and uncles who lived in close proximity to one another cultivated his discipline and strong commitment to excellence.

I didn’t know Terrence, but I am acquainted with his immediate family. I know David Martin, Terrence’s uncle, who is married to Marilyn Briggs, the aunt of Adrian Briggs, the father of Terrence Clarke. Terrence was born in Boston and the Briggs family was instrumental in his upbringing. Their example played a big role in his development.

I attended Terrence’s home-going service on Friday morning, which took place at the Jubilee Christian Church in Boston.

Representative Liz Miranda, a member of the Massachusetts State Legislature and former student of Wellesley College, read a proclamation from her legislative body that acknowledged Terrence’s love of his profession, his contribution to and the impact his short life had on his community.

Terrence attended Roxbury Prep, Smith Davis Leadership Academy, the Rivers School, and Brewster Academy which had the most impact on his formal education.

After spending one year at the University of Kentucky, he decided to join the NBA. In 2020 he was selected for the McDonald’s All-American Game. Over the years he cultivated a network of NBA players, coaches and mentors to increase his knowledge of the game. He was expected to be a first-round pick at the NBA draft.

Terrence’s service to his community and his impact on Boston, particularly the youngsters, was evidenced by the presence of Kim Janey, the first black mayor of Boston, at the public viewing of his body last Thursday evening. When she heard of his death, she spoke of his “inspiration on so many other young people on and off the court”.

Terrence’s major interests were basketball and education. He developed a tremendous work ethic and studied the game closely. He began playing basketball at the Vine Community Centre. He always visited the centre when he returned to Boston to encourage the youngsters who were trying to emulate him and learn from his example.

I was glad that I attended Terrence’s homegoing. I wanted to honour his memory and give thanks for his achievements. I was persuaded that the various academic and athletic programmes that were available to him and the downtrodden in his community made a big difference in his life.

It also made me think of the enormous talents that we leave unattended in our land. T&T athletes can reach the top of their game and achieve world-class status if our sports programmes are purposefully managed and organised.

Jamaicans have won 15 of the 24 medals in the 100 and 200 metre events in the last Olympic Games, including five of the six gold medals that were awarded. Three of the world’s fastest men ever are Jamaicans.

Brian Harry has argued: “Jamaican prowess in track and field is a confluence of several influences. Their cultural affinity with the sport started with Dr Arthur Wint, who won gold and silver medals in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.

“The pride they took in track and field inspired many grassroots enthusiasts, coaches and organisations, feeding a visionary fire in small villages, towns and hamlets. The Boys and Girls Champs that takes place annually highlight the best talent and potential across the country in one week of high-pressure competition.”

Terrence may have been talented, but if the facilities, encouragement and individual determination were not present, he would be just another beautiful brother who achieved little in his short life.

If Terrence lived in T&T, I wonder if he would have achieved as much as he did in America.

Terrence’s passing forces us to ask if T&T possesses the philosophy and wisdom to use sports as a pillar of youth development so that our Terrences achieve as much as Terrence Clarke did.

It also forces us to remember, as Pastor Matthew K Thompson reminded us in his eulogy: “It’s not how long one lives, but what one does with the time one has at one’s disposal.”

31 thoughts on “The legacy of Terrence Clarke”

  1. More bad ideas from Mr. Cudjoe.

    As far as I can tell, Caribbean countries are already spending all they can on sports facilities and training. There are hundreds of grass-roots organizations sponsoring competitions in dozens of sports — track, cricket, soccer, squash, swimming, etc. Scarce foreign exchange is allocated to the athletes who travel the world to take part in amateur and professional events.

    There are only modest economic benefits from all this spending: mostly in the form of extra tourism revenue. In fact, I suspect most people overestimate the amount of money we earn from the publicity and promotion generated by our athletes.

    But politicians know that they have to try to keep the lower classes happy, and investing in sports has been one way to help communities that are struggling with high rates of unemployment.

    Should we be trying to do even more? My answer is No. Sports careers may seem attractive to youngsters who are failing in the classroom or unable to find a good job, but few athletes live happy lives. Success is almost always short-lived, and few are adequately compensated for their years of strain, injury, and disappointment. The percentage of players who make it to the NBA, the Olympics, or Test matches is vanishingly small.

    There are better ways to help the downtrodden.

    1. More paternalistic racism from chad chen (Kirk). Here it is, chad chen is shadowing Dr. Cudjoe with constant attempts to prove his intellectual superiority via his fake aryan lineage and eventually segway into kamla and the unc’s great plans for “negro” people whom he codifies with “downtrodden”, “NBA” and “underclass”. Please…

      1. Just so you know, the correct spelling is S-E-G-U-E (meaning “transition”).

        S-E-G-W-A-Y is the word that describes a transportation vehicle that looks like a scooter.

        People with limited academic aptitudes make so many errors of spelling and diction.

        1. Thank you for the correction.
          D-i-s-i-n-g-e-n-u-o-u-s (meaning “insincere”)

          R-a-c-i-s-t (meaning someone who believes that their race makes them more intelligent than others belonging to another race, and says unfair and harmful things as a result)

          racism and insincerity invalidates one’s intellectual standing. Fake.

    2. Also…don’t miss (Kirk) chad chen’s dismissal of selwyn cudjoe’s doctorate in favour of “mr.”….all part of his paternalistic racism that sees educated africans as inherently intellectually inferior and deserving of ‘edification’. -Sick

  2. I do admire the Jamaican sporting program. Bolt, Chris Gayle, Russell and some of the finest lady athletes. They have bought fame to Jamaica. But more than that Bolt brought wealth to Jamaica earning a staggering $20 million in endorsements yearly. Bolt has gone on to share the wealth with his countrymen. Here is one example .

    Chris Gayle is another cricketing success.
    The total net worth of Mr. Chris Gayle is estimated to be 35 Million USD, which in Indian currency is approximately equal to 258 Crore Indian Rupee.‘treat-century’

    Sports is an extremely viable option for youths today. The Jamaican sport people give back to their communities. That is why I am always happy when they win. Could it happen in TnT. I say to that ‘why not’…

    1. A tiny number of sports millionaires is a meagre reward for the millions of taxpayer dollars spent every year to train and send Caribbean athletes all over the world.

      We could create those millionaires ourselves wIth a lottery system of domestic transfer payments.

      1. Chen $100 U.S. is equal to $15, 117 Jamaican. So a Jamaican athlete earning $20 million US per year is the “king of the hill”.
        Their athletics program is like a train, just drive. Meaning everything is in place.

        Besides Chen these athletes provide free advertisement for Jamaica. “Jamaica welcomed approximately 4.3 million visitors in 2019, comprising 2.7 million stopover arrivals and 1.6 million cruise passengers, whose combined spending contributed to the destination earning US$3.64 billion.”. The investment is regained by people coming to the island and these athletes being super rich and giving back to their communities.

        The cricketers don’t depend on the government.

        1. As I’ve said, the number of rich athletes is too small to make a difference to the economy.

          Moreover, many athletes are bad role models who can cause significant incremental damage to the fabric of society.

          In Jamaica, for example, Bolt and Gayle are sexually irresponsible party animals who encourage recklessness, promiscuity and laziness among young people. (Bolt recently tested positive for the COVID 19 virus after foolishly hosting a large celebration in the middle of a global pandemic).

          1. Chen who talking about role model, this is Jamaica son, where 65% of the women have a baby without the men being around….role model???

            Economically the money they receive help the village. $20 million a year times 10 years =$200 million U.S. or $1.4 billion TT and that is small money??? From only 1 athlete . Chen psychiatrist abound or you must be a multi billionaire.

          2. “Sexually irresposible…animals”

            This is chad chen’s thinly veiled dogwhistle to “UNC supporters” about african trinidadians “athletes”.

            Are “athletes” really the problem regarding bad role modelling promiscuity, recklessness, sexual irresponsibility etc. or is it a deeper wide-sourced issue?





  3. Ahhhhhhh, we finally get to the truth! chad chensingh has a problem with africans getting funding from the state as athletes. He wants the money to go to a field that ensures the money goes to an indian.

    1. Is it possible any of those athletes were tested by “Little Annie”? a.k.a “Dookhan Defendents” ?

      Drug testing in sports today, is very different from even 20 years ago. Used to be only elie athletes used legal supplements to aid their performance in high stake competitions. Today however, every tom, dick and harrylal that touches their toes once a week, uses legal supplements that come from innumerable sources internationally. In recent years dietary supplement companies have come under scrutiny for their products being tainted with banned ingredients NOT listed on the labels, and giving positive results in banned substance tests to unaware athletes.

  4. Let me explain basic economics.

    There are no more than a dozen Caribbean athletes who live in the region and who are multimillionaires.

    In a country like Jamaica, with a US$15 billion economy, a few guys and girls who are each worth $3 million, or $10 million, or even $90 million, will have no significant impact on the economy.

    The money represents ALL their assets, not their annual spending, and in any case nearly all their spending is done abroad or buys imported goods (food, cars, clothes, furniture, etc) supplied by foreigners. They spend little in their “home villages” because the villages do not make the products they use.


    1. Chen wrote “ The money represents ALL their assets, not their annual spending, and in any case nearly all their spending is done abroad or buys imported goods (food, cars, clothes, furniture, etc) supplied by foreigners. They spend little in their “home villages” because the villages do not make the products they use”

      Usain Bolt donated his entire $20 million earnings from the Olympic Games to his Jamaican high school.

      Usain Bolt might well be the fastest human being ever to pull on shoes, but he could be the richest man alive as well, if only he’d work longer hours.

      Consider that Bolt was earning as much as A$500,000 in appearance fees for athletic meets where he would run the 100 metres in less than 10 seconds, making him a whopping A$50,000 a second. Even Jeff Bezos can’t make money that fast.

      To be fair, the posing, preening, flag-wearing and grinning Bolt then produced after each scintillating sprinting performance would also make up part of what athletics associations were paying him for.

      It’s also incredible to consider, though, that the sizeable wealth Bolt made by actually running, in appearance fees and prize money, was and is dwarfed by the sponsorship dollars and big-business tie-ups he’s made off the running track.

      Chen you are just envious of athletes. This is just one athlete in Jamaica and look at his impact on that island.

  5. Jamaica is an island with a lot of poverty. The main charitable organizations are funded by the largest business families — the GraceKennedy Foundation, the Sandals Foundation, the Issa Trust, etc — NOT by wealthy athletes.

    Even these business families have been UNABLE to make any significant or discernible progress in reducing the island’s poverty problem.

    Usain Bolt is by far the richest athlete in the history of Jamaica, but he is only one man. The Usain Bolt Foundation donates computer, sports and medical equipment worth $2 or $3 million annually to schools and hospitals, but these donations are a fraction of those made by Jamaica’s biggest charities, and they have had no lasting impact on the poverty problem in Jamaica.

    As far as I can tell, the claim that Bolt once made a one-time donation of $20 million to his high school is NOT TRUE, although it was certainly broadcast on the Internet a few years ago. Apparently the donation was about $2.2 million, or less. Be careful when you read stories from self-promoting athletes who say they are giving money away.

  6. History is replete with stories of the black athlete and the roles they play in making changes for the better in western society. Those who are using money as the sole contribution black athletes make are not fooling us with those silly comments.
    I need only mention a few and most will remember and understand their roles in enhancing the stature of the black man.
    Jack Johnson, Jesse Owens, Learie Constantine, Mohammad Ali,
    Jackie Robinson, Carlos John etc etc etc. The monetary contributions they may or may not make is insignificant to the otherwise reputable stands they have taken so that many of us can be taken seriously and appreciated today. Poverty is not a crime, even though there are those on this board arguing otherwise. As early as this morning I was looking at a story on Youtube where the white Brazilian presenter opined of that the country’s most talented of Brazil’s footballers, artistes, poets, musicians, athletes and thinkers come from the country’s favelas (meaning ghettos). Come to think of it, have any of these people thought about our early heroes right here in Trinidad??? Those who made the most profound changes did not come from Westmooring or St Clair or Valsayn. The working man of today owe most of the progress made in trade unionism to the efforts of people like Tubal Uriah Buzz Butler. Our colonial masters did not respect us until they dealt with athletes like Sir Learie Constantine, educators and thinkers like Dr. Eric Williams and C.L.R James. All one need to do is look up the travails of these people mentioned and almost none of them came from privileged backgrounds. While some may use poverty as an excuse for the unfortunate circumstance in which they find themselves, many others use the same situations to spiral themselves into lives well lived.

    1. You are wrong. Athletes have not done much for black people who want to be truly “equal.”

      Your colonial masters have never respected blacks as a group and do not respect you now.

      The stereotype of the Negro as athlete, musician, and entertainer (but not much else) is exactly what it means to say that blacks are considered to be a lesser race. Sir Learie Constantine did not disturb the stereotype, which posits that only “exceptional” individual blacks — writers and scholars like C.L.R. James and Eric Williams (who were not athletes) deserve to be taken seriously.

      1. One of the things that cannot be contradicted is someone’s opinion. You have given your opinion and I regard it as such, – – your opinion. Like I said, history is replete with the efforts by individuals of color to fight for and achieve change. Muhammad Ali did achieve “change” when he fought for
        “conscientious objection” against enlisting in the military to fight in Viet Nam. Not only did black people benefit but whites as well. Because of the stand Jack Johnson took (as a black man fighting in the sport of boxing), he made that sport open for those who followed like Joe Louis, Archie Moore and Floyd Patterson. Jackie Robinson made the sport of baseball more exciting because he possessed abilities that the white players lacked – speed and elegance. Hitler downplayed the abilities of ‘the negro’ until Jesse Owens proved him wrong. So your “you are wrong” comment just does not make sense.

        1. Kian,
          Do not ehaught your spirit on bad faith actors such as chadee chen. He is of the sort of disingenuous character that pivots to grammatical errors and spell check when faced confronted with moral and genuine intellectual arguments. His is powered by racism and circular logic.In short, he is a literate, certified psuedo-intellectual.

  7. Let me make this point clearer:

    “Racism” is the controversial belief that some “races” are innately or biologically superior to others in “intelligence” or “cognitive ability.” This biological superiority, which is believed to have evolved in the roughly 50,000 years since Homo sapiens dispersed from its African homeland, has been invoked to explain differences in cultural sophistication, technological progress, and (economic) standards of living of peoples in various parts of the world.

    Athletics, music and other forms of entertainment do not REQUIRE high levels of cognitive ability or intelligence in the way advanced mathematics, physics and engineering do. So while Usain Bolt, Brian Lara and Stevie Wonder are “nice guys” who have built bridges of goodwill for blacks, they have done nothing to help prove that blacks are, or can be, “equal” in “cognitive ability” to Whites and Asians.

    Anyone who says that athletes “enhance the stature of blacks” should recognize that this “enhanced” stature does NOT mean that blacks are respected as equals around the world. And it is “equality” that most blacks really seek.

    1. Chadee Chen despises african people and compulsively attempts to disguise his putrified hate behind scientific racism. Lies, misdirection, gaslighting and deception are his virtues.

    2. The reason why racism is such a controversial subject, is because the “weights” applied to measure intelligence CANNOT be fairly ascertained. The architect of the universe was very particular in placing inhabitants in regions of the world that might be anathema to others who are less native to survive. The concept of European superiority or preeminence was developed to ensure white domination – period. Fair evaluation WOULD NEVER BE CONCOCTED to sustain the degree to which “white superiority” prides itself. Therefore, dogma and psychology was adapted as the means to substantiate the ideas of racial, ethnic, regional, religious and physical superiority. Chadchen appears to be an adherent of this concept. I do not make it a point to profile people, but since he brought up the subject, we must examine his motives, which on the surface appears to want to prove himself “superior” to black people. Since he has shown no credible intellect to support his theory, we must assume that he is using his racial or racial/religious background to make this claim. There is a famous psychologist, I believe his name was Watson who wrote extensively on white superiority until he white background was discovered as having a great deal of African blood.

      It may or may not be fair if, in absence of knowledge who the real Chadchen is, to assume that he is of South Asian descent. By that definition alone and based on recent pronouncements in the media he considers himself “superior”. But the question is ‘superior to whom?’ or ‘superior to what?. Does that mean he considers himself superior to Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollenu (African), who was the lead robotics engineer who developed the drone now surfacing Mars? or does it mean that he is ‘superior’ to Dr. Kizzie Corbette, one of the lead scientists who developed the vaccine for covid?. If Chadchen thinks he is right, does that give me the right to question his racial or religious motives? Do I consider his beliefs, as honoring the cow as his mother, even though that is biologically unproven? Or maybe because of the caste he might associate himself with makes him superior?
      The point I am making here is that Chadchen is very foolish in trying to make those arguments. To consider music and atlethicism as inferior to science or math is downright stupidity.
      It is true that different types of intellect have to be applied but to downplay the genius needed is outright stupid. I remember a time when I was a young boy going to “10:00 am” movie shows, I
      always rooted for Tarzan against the natives because I was told that Tarzan was gifted with super intelligence over them. He was supposed to speak the language of the animals and they operated on his commands because they (the animals) raised him from a baby to manhood. I believe that Chadfchen is operating under the same type of beliefs that we get from comic books of the past used by Europeans to control our intelligence.

      1. Last time I checked, Kizzmekia (“Kizzie”) Corbett was NOT “one of the lead scientists” who developed the COVID vaccine.

        She is just an immunologist working for the US government (her special area of expertise is dengue fever) who led a team that conducted clinical trials of the Moderna mRNA COVID vaccine at the US National Institutes of Health.

        The science underlying mRNA COVID vaccines was developed by (white) scientists at the University of Pennsylvania (Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman), and perfected for commercial use by separate groups of scientists, some of whom founded and manage an American company known as the Moderna Corporation.

        Kizzie is a propaganda device used by Dr. Anthony Fauci and various US government agencies to encourage African-Americans to accept COVID vaccines.

        1. “Kizzie is a propaganda device used by Dr. Anthony Fauci and various US government agencies to encourage African-Americans to accept COVID vaccines.”…… Chachen
          Well. Here we go again!!!! Chadchen is looking for something to promote an sell his racist theories.
          Democracies around the world are failing because we are at the point where religion has failed us, morality has failed us, reasoning has failed us, logic has failed us, truth has failed us, communism has failed us and democracy has failed us. Whats gaining momentum? – Social media. And why is social media so attractive? – It gives us the pleasure
          of promoting and accepting our own truths. Accepting and immersing in your own truth is a feel good measure that gives a false sense of confidence. When real truth is presented, it always fails in the minds of people like Chadchen. So, with that in mind this will be my last response to his stupidity because when his “truths” fail he will always move to another LIE. He is NOT alone!!!!
          We have always been fed a menu of how democratic the United States is, yet, in the state of Arizona ( where supposedly intelligent people live) they are still counting the “results” of the last presidential elections. Maybe Chadchen would be a fit as one of those who believe in that we are still looking for the winner of that election.
          CHOW…….. thats it folks!!!!

          1. Kian,

            As a result of my intellectual superiority, i’m must grammatically corect you before chadchen…

            It’s Ciao, not CHAO!

            Ciao bello!

  8. Mr. Chen , let’s not embark on this cognitive superiority and intelligence reasoning to categorize races. It is a dangerous road to thread. It is inherently racist to attempt to make this argument. Not constructive, my friend. Cease and desist.

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