Two of the top young stars in the NBA have taken a future Kentucky guard under their wings.
According to Tom Westerholm of MassLive.com, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, two budding stars on the Boston Celtics, have been in regular communication with UK signee and Boston, MA native Terrence Clarke.
Clarke first reached out to the Celtics duo on Instagram, and ever since, the trio of athletes have been training together and exchanging basketball knowledge.
“They kind of just influenced me to work hard every single day, especially on the off days, the days I come off of games, I talk to them every other day,” Clarke told Westerholm. “They’re always working out, getting in the gym, preparing themselves for the extra games, stuff like that. Me being in the season, I work out with Jaylen, we work out, get shots in, 1-v-1s, stuff like that, just going at each other, make each other better. Jayson and Jaylen, those guys are big supporters for me.”
Clarke told MassLive.com that he has been going head-to-head with Brown – a former Kentucky target – in competitive on-court battles, with the future Wildcat’s biggest takeaway being that he needs to bulk up a little bit for college, and eventually, the NBA.
“[Brown’s] always being physical with me, and me being 190, 6-foot-7, it’s a little skinny,” Clarke said. “Him putting his weight on me is definitely making me better, like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to definitely get stronger.’”
Brown told Westerholm that he’s trying to prepare Clarke both physically and mentally for the next two levels, as adversities will be common for the five-star guard.
“I wish some stuff I would have learned a little bit earlier that I know now, that it would have probably helped me have a better career,” Brown said. “So just telling (Clarke) some of that stuff that people told me to help me try to give him a little bit of an advantage, because when you get to a certain (level), it’s going to be a lot of 6’7 guys, it’s going to be a lot of talented guys. Mentally is where you’re going to be able to separate yourself, and I feel like that where I’ve been able to separate myself in this league. Mentality, will, passion, heart, stuff that you can’t necessarily measure.”
At the end of the day, major point totals at the high school level will be forgotten in college and once he gets to the NBA.
“I always try to tell him not to focus on the numbers in high school,” Brown told Westerholm. “I don’t even know how many 30 point games, 40-point anything in high school, but like, who cares? Just continue to get better and focus on the process.”
Boston’s Terrence Clarke (Brewster Academy) is out here shooting at TD Garden: “I need to get used to this line.” pic.twitter.com/js6UJJHijt
— Nicole Yang (@nicolecyang) December 22, 2019
Clarke, who is outspoken about his love for his hometown of Boston, said his goal is to one day play in TD Garden – the home of the Celtics – once he gets to the NBA.
Whether that be suiting up as the home team or as the opposition, he just wants to make his hometown proud.
“I’m working my hardest just so I can get there,” Clarke said. “I know I want to put on for everybody else in the city, especially me being from Boston, if I was to even play in this gym, I’d be blessed as ever. I’m working my hardest so I can put on for my city.”
For more on Clarke’s relationship with the budding NBA stars, check out Westerholm’s entire article on MassLive.com right here.