Incredibly emotional moment at the 2021 NBA Draft ... when commissioner Adam Silver selected the late Terrence Clarke with an honorary pick on behalf of the league.
19-year-old Clarke -- a star for the University of Kentucky -- was killed in a tragic car accident back in April ... just months before he was set to become a rising star in the Association.
Clarke's name was still called Thursday night ... with Silver paying tribute before the 15th pick was made.
"His extraordinary talent, commitment and dedication to the game deserved to be recognized on this stage," Silver said.
Terrence's family was in attendance at Barclays Center for the honor ... with his mother, brother and sister receiving NBA-themed draft hats and walking on stage.
Silver continued ... "To the 3 of you, and to all those who knew and admired Terrence, please know that he will forever be part of the NBA family."
Clarke's mother was deeply emotional as she reached the stage ... hugging Silver as the entire room gave a standing ovation and chanted Terrence's name.
Clarke -- a projected to be a first round pick -- was beloved by the basketball community ... and had a bright future ahead on and off the court.