FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Caleb Swanigan, the former Homestead and Purdue standout who rose from homeless to play in the NBA, has died. He was 25.
The Allen County Coroner’s Office confirmed to WANE 15 that Swanigan died of natural causes.
Swanigan was drafted in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2017 but had not played in the NBA since late in the 2019-2020 season. He won Indiana’s coveted Mr. Basketball honor after leading Homestead to its first and only state title in 2015. Swanigan was selected The Associated Press player of the year in the Big Ten Conference in 2017 when he averaged more than 18 points for Purdue. He was a first-round draft pick in 2017 by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Swanigan, who experienced homelessness as a child before being adopted, eventually got a diploma in Educational History from Purdue. He also helped organize a fundraiser for homelessness and released music in 2019.
Homestead boys basketball coach Chris Johnson shares memories of Caleb Swanigan:
Condolences were shared on social media after news of Swanigan’s passing broke early Tuesday. At one point Tuesday, “Swanigan” and “Biggie” were trending on Twitter.
Former Purdue teammate Rapheal Davis shares stories about Swangian and his impact on others:
The coroner’s office senior investigator Rebecca Maze says a private doctor will be handling his death certificate.