Former Purdue University standout Caleb Swanigan dies at 25

Former Purdue basketball star and NBA player Caleb Swanigan has died at the age of 25, Purdue confirmed via Twitter on Tuesday.

“The world lost a gentle soul last night,” Purdue said in its tweet.

Swanigan starred on Purdue’s 2016-17 team, capturing Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten Honors. He was selected 26th in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and spent three seasons in the NBA.

As a child, Swanigan lived in five different homeless shelters and attended 13 different schools before he turned 13, he told ESPN in 2017. In eighth grade, he was adopted by AAU coach Roosevelt Barnes, who trained him through high school at Homestead High in Fort Wayne, Ind. There, he was named Indiana Mr. Basketball, won a state title and was named a McDonald’s All-American.

By the time Swanigan left Purdue, after his sophomore season, he had broken the school’s single-season records for rebounds and double-doubles. He was named to the Big Ten Network’s All-Decade Basketball Team in 2020.

Swanigan died of natural causes, the Allen County Coroner’s Office confirmed to Fort Wayne, Ind., Local TV affiliate WANE 15.

(Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer / USA Today)

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