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Caleb Swanigan, Former NBA First-Round Pick, Dead At 25

Former NBA player Caleb Swanigan died Monday in Fort Wayne, Indiana, just over two years since his last game in the league. He was 25.

Swanigan died of natural causes, the Allen County Coroner’s Office told WANE-15 without elaborating.

Swanigan, a 2017 first-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers out of Purdue University, played three years in the league for the Blazers and Sacramento Kings.

The Purdue basketball program mourned his death on Twitter.

Swanigan was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 2015 and stayed in state to play for the Boilermakers, earning first-team All-American honors his sophomore year, ESPN noted. He entered the NBA draft and was chosen 26th overall.

Caleb Swanigan of the Portland Trail Blazers handles the ball against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 26, 2020.
Caleb Swanigan of the Portland Trail Blazers handles the ball against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 26, 2020.
Abbie Parr via Getty Images

Swanigan was homeless for a time as a child before he was adopted. He organized a fundraiser to fight homelessness in 2019, WANE-15 reported. He eventually finished his degree in education from Purdue.

Swanigan, a 6-9, 260-pounder sometimes called “Biggie,” played for the last time in an NBA game on March 10, 2020 ― right before the NBA suspended play due to the pandemic.

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