Caleb Swanigan, former Purdue star and first-round NBA draft pick, dies at 25

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Caleb Swanigan, former Purdue star and first-round pick, dies at 25 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Former Purdue standout and first-round NBA draft pick Caleb Swanigan has died. He was 25 years old.

The Purdue men’s basketball program said Swanigan died on Monday night.

WANE 15, a local news outlet in Fort Wayne, Ind., received a confirmation from the Allen County Coroner’s Office that Swanigan died of natural causes.

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

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An Indianapolis native who was named Indiana Mr. Basketball in 2015, Swanigan played two seasons at Purdue. He broke out in his 2016-17 sophomore campaign when he put up 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game en route to winning Big Ten Player of the Year and being named a consensus First Team All-American.

The Portland Trail Blazers selected Swanigan with the 26th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-9 center appeared in 45 games with the Blazers before being dealt to the Sacramento Kings during his second NBA season. After making 10 appearances with the Kings, Swanigan was traded back to Portland during his third and final season in the league.

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Swanigan played in 75 games and made four starts over his three-year NBA career.

“We are heartbroken by the passing of former Trail Blazers player Caleb Swanigan,” the Blazers said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Caleb’s family, friends and all who loved him. Rest in peace, Biggie.”

The Kings’ statement read: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Caleb Swanigan. He will be remembered as a great teammate and friend. Our hearts are with his family during this incredibly difficult time.”

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