LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — All of the University of Kentucky, sports fans, students, athletes and people who've never watched a game are mourning the loss of Terrence Clarke.
Freshman JaKobi McPherson had never watched a game, but he knew Clarke's story. He says he inspired him.
"He didn't have to play basketball for this team or anything like that. He worked day and night through his injuries and stuff to still come out and play for us. So I feel like that was a really strong connection for me," said McPherson.
Chris Ciampi rarely missed a game. Even though he'd never met him, Ciampi says he felt like family.
"He's one of us. He's a part of the campus. He's a part of the community and when someone takes someone away, when someone passes away from our community, it hurts," said Ciampi.
Track athlete John Kruzel says the athletic community at UK is taking the loss hard.
"I know in like the Kentucky athletic community this is more of a stronger bond. I don't know about other schools, but I know for us it's very strong. People tend to bond together pretty well. So I met the guy once, twice. I know a lot of other people on different athletic teams have met him a lot of times, so you could consider him part of a family, I would say. It's a real shame. It really is. You know, I'm pretty sure he was going over to a specific organization or training for the NBA draft so that was gonna be a big step in his life. So to have that happened to him very early, it was just a real shame," said Kruzel.
UK Basketball personal chef Tony took a break to stop and reflect at the makeshift memorial outside his window. He was heartbroken and near tears.
"I saw him every morning. (He'd) come down and get his breakfast, wanted extra crispy french toast every morning. He was always humble. No, he never was too good to say something to me, 'Hi how you doing chef, what's going on.' Just to check to see how I'm doing for the day. I mean he's just a really really good guy. I'm gonna miss him a lot," said Chef Tony.