First off, my heart goes out to Caleb’s friends and family. Swanigan by all accounts was a stand-up guy and really battled to make his hoop dreams a reality. It was announced this morning that he passed away of natural causes. 25 is way too young, rest in peace Caleb.
Swanigan had a tough childhood. Raised alongside his five siblings by his mother, his father struggled with drug addiction. The family was even homeless for spells but eventually was able to settle back down in Indiana where Caleb lead Homestead High School to a state championship in his senior year, the school’s first.
He committed to Michigan State, but changed his mind and decided to go to Purdue, which pretty quickly became obvious was the right choice. He started every game and made the Big Ten all-freshman team. After another standout sophomore season, Caleb declared for the Draft. The man really had to work hard and overcome some crazy obstacles to achieve so highly, and I have a lot of respect for that.
He was chosen 26th by the Blazers in 2017, played in the Summer League, G League, and eventually sometime with the NBA squad. He was traded to the Kings in 2019 but then dealt back to Portland 11 months later.
He last played in 2020 and elected to not join the team in the COVID playoff bubble for personal reasons.