The death of 25-year-old NBA star Caleb Swanigan

A premature goodbye
Natural causes
Switching Portland for his home, Indiana
'Biggie' was a rising star
A promise for the NBA
26th place in the 2017 Draft
A competitive Draft
From Portland to Sacramento and back
He refused to participate in the Covid bubble
Poor statistics
Then he disappeared
Arrested and sentenced
A complicated life
Scarce resources
Purdue University says goodbye
Portland Trail Blazers and Lillard
A premature goodbye

Shock and tears in the NBA. The young Caleb Swanigan, formerly of Portland and Sacramento, died at the age of 25. It was Shams Charania from 'The Athletic' who spread the sad news through his Twitter account.

Natural causes

The Allen County coroner's office declared that the athlete died of "natural causes" at his home in Fort Wayne.

Switching Portland for his home, Indiana

The young player was selected 26th overall in the first round of the 2017 Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. The Oregon franchise opted for the power forward after a successful stint in the NCAA where, after committing to Michigan State, he decided to break the deal and stay in his native Indiana.

'Biggie' was a rising star

In May 2015, Caleb Swanigan joined the Purdue University Boilermakers. 'Biggie', as his teammates called him, played two seasons at Purdue, averaging 14.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.

A promise for the NBA

His numbers led him to be in the best quintet in the Big Ten Conference and to be chosen as the Best Player of the Year, both by coaches and the specialized press. Caleb Swanigan's future pointed to the NBA.

26th place in the 2017 Draft

Swanigan made it into the first round of the 2017 Draft with 30 names, including Markelle Fultz (1), Lonzo Ball (2), Jayson Tatum (3), Bam Adebayo (14), and John Collins (19).

A competitive Draft

To put it into perspective, Caleb Swanigan (26) was chosen over Kyle Kuzma (27), Derrick White (29), and Josh Hart (30).

 

From Portland to Sacramento and back

Despite the good forecasts that Swanigan had, his time in the NBA was not fruitful at all. He spent a season and a half in Portland before being transferred to the Sacramento Kings. There, he spent another season and a half, before he passed through the Development League and returned to the Portland Trail Blazers.

He refused to participate in the Covid bubble

Back in Oregon, he and his team experienced the abrupt end of the season by the coronavirus pandemic. Caleb Swanigan refused to play in the famous bubble that the NBA built for the prevention of the virus's spread.

Poor statistics

In the end, during the three seasons he came to play in the NBA, Swanigan accumulated a total of 75 games, with averages well below expectations: 2.3 points and 2.9 rebounds.

Then he disappeared

After the first lockdowns and bubble of the pandemic, Swanigan vanished from the map. The world did not hear from him until he was arrested at the end of 2020 for possession of prohibited substances.

Arrested and sentenced

At the beginning of 2021, he pleaded guilty to a minor drug charge and assumed a 180-day sentence of community work and treatment to overcome his addictions. This deal saved him from going to jail.

A complicated life

In fact, Caleb Swanigan's life was never easy. Raised in a poor family with five other siblings, he spent much of his childhood in foster care in Utah and Indiana. It had much to do with his father's addictions.

Scarce resources

The family's lack of financial resources led Biggie to eat low-cost junk food for years, which caused him to weigh almost 400 pounds (180 kilos) at just 13 years old. When he entered Purdue University, it helped him get his life back on track and it even opened the doors to the NBA.

Purdue University says goodbye

It was precisely that institute that said goodbye to the former player with an emotional tribute on social media. "The world lost a gentle soul last night who impacted everyone he met. Love you Biggie."

Photo: Instagram - @boilerball

Portland Trail Blazers and Lillard

The Blazers have also said goodbye to Caleb Swanigan on social media. "We are heartbroken by the passing of former Trail Blazers player Caleb Swanigan. Our thoughts. Rest in peace, Biggie." A message that Damian Lillard, a Portland star and Caleb Swanigan's partner during his time in Oregon, has also shared.

Photo: Instagram - @trailblazers

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