Caleb Swanigan, former Purdue standout and first-round NBA draft pick, dead at 25. Caleb Swanigan’s inspiring story was chronicled in the days leading up to the NBA Draft.
Caleb Swanigan, the 2017 Big Ten Player of the Year and standout at Purdue, has died, the school said Tuesday. He was 25.
Purdue announced Swanigan’s death on Twitter.
Purdue All-American, former NBA player, Caleb Swanigan dead at the age of 25. Swanigan was a standout at Purdue and was drafted in the first round in 2017 by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Former Purdue standout and 2016-17 consensus First Team All-American Caleb Swanigan died Monday, the school announced. The family confirmed the death. He was 25.
Swanigan was also the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2017, following a season in which he averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists for a Purdue team that went 27-8 and made the Sweet 16. Swanigan, a former McDonald’s All-American, parlayed his dominant sophomore campaign to early entry into the NBA Draft. He was selected 26th overall in 2017 by the Portland Trail Blazers, where he played for two seasons.
The 6-foot-9 power forward spent time in the G League before making his way back to play 10 games for the Sacramento Kings in 2018-19 and 2019-20. He finished his playing career with the Trail Blazers, playing 20 more games for Portland during the 2019-20 season.
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
Swanigan’s battle with weight gain eventually led to him leaving basketball. He pursued a vocation in rap music thereafter — long before that, he lovingly took on the nickname “Biggie” — though Swanigan also gained notoriety for his ongoing health issues, and a drug charge in 2021, following his departure from the NBA.
“The Purdue basketball family is deeply saddened and devastated at the loss of Caleb Swanigan,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said in a statement. “Caleb was a very thoughtful individual and a gentle soul who excelled both on and off the court. He made a huge difference in everyone’s lives that he touched and he will be greatly missed.”
Swanigan died of natural causes, according to Fort Wayne TV station WANE, which cited Allen County Coroner’s Office.