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Former NBA 1st-round pick Caleb Swanigan dead at 25

The former Purdue basketball star was picked in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
Credit: Rick Scuteri, AP Photo
Caleb Swanigan plays for the Portland Trail Blazers during a preseason game in October 2018.

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. — Former Purdue basketball star and NBA player Caleb Swanigan has died at 25.

Swanigan led Homestead to a state title in 2015 and was named "Mr. Basketball" that same year.

Swanigan went on to be a standout at Purdue University, unanimously chosen as the Big Ten Player of the Year and consensus 1st Team All-American during his sophomore season. He averaged more than 14 points and 10 rebounds for Purdue. 

Swanigan was then drafted by the Portland Trailblazers and played in the NBA from 2017-2019 with the Trailblazers and Sacramento Kings. Swanigan completed his degree in Educational History during his rookie year in the NBA.

Purdue Mens Basketball tweeted about Swanigan's death, saying, "Devastated. Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a gentle soul last night. Love you Biggie."

Swanigan was adopted as a child and had shared how he had experienced homelessness. He also spoke openly about his experience with childhood obesity and his work in the community with FoodCorps, a national organization that puts healthy food in schools.

According to the Allen County Coroner's Office, a doctor signed the death certificate noting Swanigan died of natural causes Monday at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. No other details were provided.

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