Purdue basketball player Caleb Swanigan has died of natural causes at the young age of 25, according to reports.
Swanigan was an inspiring figure that seemingly had a long basketball career ahead of him, having gone from being a homeless teen to college basketball star and NBA first-round draft pick in only a few short years, Fox News reported.
His death was announced on Twitter by the university.
“Devastated. Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a gentle soul last night,” the tweet read. “Love you Biggie.”
Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a gentle soul last night.
Love you Biggie. pic.twitter.com/spU2hQtJdi
— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) June 21, 2022
The Allen County Coroner’s Office in Fort Wayne, Indiana, said that Swanigan died of “natural causes,” but so far no more details have been released.
By the age of 13, Swanigan had lived in five different homeless shelters as his struggling family drifted from Indianapolis to Utah and had his education disrupted by being placed in more than a dozen schools.
But by 2015, he started showing his mettle by being named a McDonald’s All-American and becoming Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in high school. He then joined the Boilermakers and continued his record of basketball excellence. He also went on to help the U.S. U17 and U19 national teams win gold medals in their World Championships.
During his tenure with Purdue, he was the Big Ten Player of the Year and a Consensus All-American in 2017. He also broke Purdue’s single-season scoring record for rebounds and double-doubles in 2017.
He then stood for the 2017 NBA Draft and was chosen in the first round by the Trail Blazers. He played for the Trail Blazers for three seasons before moving on to the Sacramento Kings for the 2019-2020 season. Then he was back with the Trail Blazers.
Tributes to the player flooded Twitter:
The Big Ten sends our deepest condolences to Caleb Swanigan's family and friends, and the Purdue community. https://t.co/YTDAisROX2
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) June 21, 2022
We are heartbroken by the passing of former Trail Blazers player Caleb Swanigan. Our thoughts and prayers are with Caleb’s family, friends and all who loved him.
Rest In Peace, Biggie. pic.twitter.com/QxiGMZi5cg
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) June 21, 2022
The NBA family is profoundly saddened by the passing of Caleb Swanigan, who played three seasons in the NBA after a decorated career at Purdue. We send our heartfelt condolences to Caleb’s family, friends, and former teammates. pic.twitter.com/8DGrg3ePW7
— NBA (@NBA) June 21, 2022
Horrible news. So sad. RIP Caleb Swanigan. https://t.co/ispK6E7RSt
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) June 21, 2022
There are really no words to describe the heartbreak for Caleb Swanigan’s family, friends, loved ones. What a loss.
— Hammer and Rails (@HammerAndRails) June 21, 2022
26 year old NBA star Caleb Swanigan.
25 year old NFL star Jaylon Ferguson.
27 year old Miss Brazil, Gleycy Correia.
All too young and too healthy to have died. Absolutely tragic.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) June 22, 2022
My thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family 🙏🏻 https://t.co/IHMGWTAWcw
— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) June 21, 2022