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Caleb Swanigan, former Purdue star and first-round NBA draft pick, dies at 25


Former Purdue standout and first-round NBA draft pick Caleb Swanigan has died. He was 25 years old.

The Purdue men’s basketball program said Swanigan died on Monday night.

WANE 15, a neighborhood news outlet in Fort Wayne, Ind., received a confirmation from the Allen County Coroner’s Office that Swanigan died of natural causes.

“The Purdue basketball family is deeply saddened and devastated on the lack of Caleb Swanigan,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said in a press release. “Caleb was a really thoughtful individual and a mild soul who excelled each on and off the court. He made an enormous difference in everyone’s lives that he touched and he can be greatly missed.”

An Indianapolis native who was named Indiana Mr. Basketball in 2015, Swanigan played two seasons at Purdue. He broke out in his 2016-17 sophomore campaign when he put up 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game en path to winning Big Ten Player of the Yr and being named a consensus First Team All-American.

💔 Devastated.

Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a mild soul last night.

Love you Biggie. pic.twitter.com/spU2hQtJdi

— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) June 21, 2022

The Portland Trail Blazers chosen Swanigan with the twenty sixth overall pick within the 2017 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-9 center appeared in 45 games with the Blazers before being dealt to the Sacramento Kings during his second NBA season. After making 10 appearances with the Kings, Swanigan was traded back to Portland during his third and final season within the league.

Swanigan played in 75 games and made 4 starts over his three-year NBA profession.


“We’re heartbroken by the passing of former Trail Blazers player Caleb Swanigan,” the Blazers said in a press release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Caleb’s family, friends and all who loved him. Rest in peace, Biggie.”

The Kings’ statement read: “We’re deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Caleb Swanigan. He can be remembered as a terrific teammate and friend. Our hearts are along with his family during this incredibly difficult time.”

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