Caleb Swanigan, a former basketball star at Purdue University and NBA player for three years, died of natural causes on Monday night at the age of 25, according to WANE 15.
In a tweet, the Purdue men’s basketball team said, “Devastated. Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a gentle soul last night. Love you Biggie.”
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Swanigan was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Indiana and a McDonald’s All-American for his high school accomplishments.
Coming in as a freshman in 2015, Swanigan played two years for the Purdue Boilermakers and started every game during his freshman and sophomore seasons at the Big Ten school.
In his freshman year, he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. In his sophomore year, Swanigan improved his play and was named First-team All-Big Ten, Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-American after averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds.
During his time as a Boilermaker, Swanigan helped his team win the regular-season conference title in 2017 and make it to the NCAA Tournament both years he was there, making it to the sweet sixteen once in 2017.
After two years in college, Swanigan declared for the NBA and was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. As a rookie, the 6’9” center appeared in 27 games and started in three, averaging 2.5 points and two rebounds.
In his second season, Swanigan was traded 18 games into the season to the Sacramento Kings where he only appeared in three games.
During the 2019-2020 season, Swanigan’s third season in the NBA, he played seven games for the Kings before being traded back to the Trailblazers where he appeared in 20 games. 2020 was the last time the Center appeared in an NBA game.
After his career in the NBA, Swanigan pursued a career as a rapper under the name Slyy5jackk. In April, he released a music video for his song “Acquired Taste.”