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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Former Purdue basketball star Caleb Swanigan dies at 25

Caleb Swanigan during an NBA game

Sep 29, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Portland Trail Blazers forward Caleb Swanigan (50) awaits the start of play against the Toronto Raptors during the first half at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Former Purdue basketball star and first-round NBA draft pick Caleb Swanigan has died, according to the school.

Purdue basketball announced on Tuesday that Swanigan has died at age 25.

Swanigan died in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Monday. The Allen County Coroner’s Office confirmed to local news outlet WANE 15 that Swanigan died of natural causes.

Swanigan declared for the NBA Draft after setting records as a sophomore at Purdue in 2017. His 436 rebounds during the 2016-17 season still stand as a record for the Boilermakers. He also holds the school’s single-season record for double-doubles. The 6-foot-9 Swanigan had four games in his breakout sophomore season with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.

Swanigan was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 2017 and a consensus first-team All American. He was drafted 26th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers and bounced back and forth between the NBA and G-League. Swanigan opted out of playing in the NBA bubble in 2020 for personal reasons and did not play professionally after that.

Many were concerned last year after a photo of Swanigan surfaced that showed he had gained a significant amount of weight. He responded on Instagram by criticizing the media and saying he is a “full time father figure.”

Swanigan had issues with his weight as a teenager and weighed more than 350 pounds when he was 13. His father, who was 6-foot-8 and weighed nearly 500 pounds, died from complications with diabetes in 2014. He was 50 at the time, which is why Swanigan chose to wear No. 50 at Purdue.

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