Former NBA player and Purdue Boilermaker Caleb Swanigan passed away from natural causes at the age of 25 on Monday night at a Fort Wayne hospital, according to the Allen County coroner’s office.
Swanigan was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball 2015 his senior year at Homestead High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, and led the team to the state championship.
Highly recruited, Swangian signed with Purdue after initially committing to Michigan State.
Swanigan averaged 14.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in two seasons at Purdue.
He was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, a consensus first-team All-American, and a finalist for the Naismith Award his sophomore season.
He entered the 2017 NBA Draft, and the Portland Trailblazers selected him No. 26.
Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a gentle soul last night.
Love you Biggie. pic.twitter.com/spU2hQtJdi
— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) June 21, 2022
The 6-foot-9 Swanigan played three years in the NBA with the Trailblazers and the Sacramento Kings, averaging 2.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 0.7 assists.
He was picked up by Portland for a second stint in February 2020 but decided not to join the team in the Orlando bubble when play resumed after the COVID halt, citing personal reasons.
Swanigan was arrested several months later, in December 2020, for drug possession and appeared out of shape in his mugshot.
One of six children, Swanigan, known as “Biggie,” contended with childhood obesity and homelessness as a middle schooler, per WANE-TV 15 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
WANE-TV sports covered Swanigan’s first high school game, a 48-42 Homestead win against Huntington North on November 21, 2012.
Swanigan earned an educational history diploma from Purdue and helped organize a fundraiser for homelessness, per Fox 59.