Purdue announced the sudden demise of their former NBA player Caleb Swanigan last Monday.
The Allen County corner’s office confirmed that he had a natural death.
Matt Painter’s Statement on Swanigan’s Departure
Purdue’s head coach Matt Painter quoted a statement on their official website saying:
“The Purdue basketball family is deeply saddened and devastated at the loss of Caleb Swanigan.”
“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.”
Matt Painter further shared his experience while serving Caleb:
“During his NBA career, Swanigan worked extensively with Portland-area youth and Food Corps to promote healthy eating habits in schools and eliminate child hunger.”
Swanigan was a destructive player inside the court and undoubtedly, he had the jolliest behavior with others.
Swanigan totaled 18.5 points per game, 12.5 total rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game for Purdue in the 2016–17 season. He assisted the Boilermakers in reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Swanigan’s accomplishments earned him the Big Ten Player of the Year award and a spot on the First Team of All-Americans.
After being selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 26th overall choice in the 2017 NBA Draft, Swanigan played in 75 games and made four starts over the course of three NBA seasons. He was a member of the Sacramento Kings as well. The 6-foot 9 center last appeared in the NBA 2019-20 season.
Swanigan’s another franchise Portland also shared their deepest condolences on Twitter:
“We are heartbroken by the passing of former Trail Blazers player Caleb Swanigan. Our thoughts are with Caleb’s family, friends, and all who loved him. Rest In Peace, Biggie.”
Swanigan made an immediate effect at Purdue. His ability to rebound was arguably his greatest attribute. No one wanted the ball more as it flicked off that hoop than he did, so if you thought you wanted it, you would have to pass through him. He was a skilled scorer as well, but it wasn’t as good as the rebounding. He collected 11 rebounds and 11 points in his first college game.
Out of a total of 69 games played in college, he would go on to have 40 games with double-digit rebounding. During his sophomore year, he recorded four games with 20 or more rebounds. If we consider that sophomore season alone, it was even more noteworthy.
Portland Picked Caleb in the NBA Draft
The Portland Trailblazers took him with the 26th overall pick in the first round. The young man who weighed close to 400 pounds changed both his body and his mindset and was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
He died at the age of 25, according to news that first surfaced last week. Initial reports indicate a death from natural causes, while details are still being revealed. No matter what the reason, it’s unfortunate. His former Purdue colleagues started tweeting about it. The young man who struggled so hard and laid it all out on the ground every single night was no longer there.
The life of Caleb Swanigan was a remarkable one, filled with so many highs.