Former Purdue Star Caleb Swanigan Dies at 25

Former Purdue Star Caleb Swanigan Dies at 25
Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) and Portland Trail Blazers forward Caleb Swanigan (50) battle for a rebound during the second quarter at the Moda Center Portland, Ore., on March 10, 2020. (Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY Sports Via Field Level Media)
Field Level Media

Former Purdue standout Caleb Swanigan, who played three seasons in the NBA, died Monday night at age 25.

The school confirmed his passing on Tuesday, but no details were provided.

“The Purdue basketball family is deeply saddened and devastated at the loss of Caleb Swanigan,” 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.”

Fort Wayne, Ind., TV station WANE said the Allen County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Swanigan died of natural causes.

An Indianapolis native, Swanigan was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball and a Parade All-American in 2015.

He was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and a consensus All-American as a 2016-17 sophomore after averaging 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 38 games (35 starts) for Purdue. The Boilermakers finished 27–8 (14-4 Big Ten) and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

“Devastated. Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a gentle soul last night. Love you Biggie,” read a tweet from the Boilermakers’ men’s basketball team.

Swanigan, a 6-foot-9 forward, was drafted in the first round (26th overall) by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2017.

He averaged 2.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 75 games (four starts) with the Blazers and Sacramento Kings from 2017–20.