Shock as former NBA star Caleb Swanigan dies suddenly aged 25

Shock as former NBA star Caleb Swanigan dies suddenly aged 25. Image: Twitter NBA

TRIBUTES have flooded social media after news broke that former NBA star Caleb Swanigan died suddenly aged 25.

Caleb Swanigan, who played three years in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings, died suddenly at the age of 25 in the early hours of Tuesday, June 21. According to the Allen County coroner’s office, the young basketball player died of natural causes at a Fort Wayne, Indiana, hospital.

Prior to signing for the Blazers in 2017, he played for the Purdue Boilermakers basketball team where he was a consensus first-team All-American.

Purdue head coach Matt Painter led tributes for the 6-foot-9 star.

“Terribly saddened by this,” Painter wrote.

“Biggie had a positive influence in everyone’s life. Was such a thoughtful person and gentle soul who had to overcome so much in his life.

“He will be greatly missed.”

Portland Trail Blazers wrote: “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.”

“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,” the NBA wrote.

“Rest In Peace,” Jaylen Brown said.

“Caleb Swanigan had one of the most difficult upbringings imaginable. He didn’t sulk, no. He made something of himself. Big 10 POY 1st team All-American 1st round draft pick One of the best to ever wear a Purdue jersey. God, this hurts. Rest in peace Biggie.”

“Rest In Peace. Gone too soon.”

“Rest in peace king. Of all the pro athletes I have crossed paths with Caleb Swanigan was the kindest that I personally knew. I remember spending hours with him talking with houseless youth and seeing the impact his story had on them. This hurts. We just talked not so long ago.”

“Rest In Peace to Caleb Swanigan, former Purdue and NBA player who passed away at 25.”

“It absolutely horrifies me when people die so young. I enjoyed seeing you hoop. Rest in Peace, Caleb Swanigan. April 18th, 1997 – June 2022.”

“Rest In Peace, Caleb Swanigan.”

“I’m very saddened to hear about the death of 25-year-old Caleb Swanigan today. I watched him play against Ohio State several times in college. Was as athletic & hard working as they come. Seeing pics of him last year, I couldn’t BELIEVE it was him. Knew something was wrong.”

Swanigan played 75 games over his three-year career in the NBA, with his last game coming back in 2020 when Covid brought an abrupt end to the league and his career.

According to AS, the young basketball player refused to play in the bubble created by the league at the Walt Disney complex in Orlando, Florida.

After his MBA career ended, pictures began circulating of Swanigan in which he had gained significant weight from his playing days.

He was then arrested in his home state for possession of marijuana in early 2021. He accepted a sentence of 180 days of community service and undergo treatment to overcome his addictions.

The death of the former NBA star follows the recent deaths of some young and up-and-coming basketball players hoping to reach the top American league.

On Wednesday, June 8, a high school student-athlete – believed to be 16 years old – died after collapsing during after-school basketball practice.

On February 5, 15-year-old Preston Settles collapsed during a game at Brooks School in North Andover.

Settles stopped breathing during the game and was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital, where doctors shocked his heart eight times but could not get it to start again on its own.

At the hospital, the teenager was placed on an automatic CPR machine and breathing tube, several hours before Settles began breathing again.

He was then airlifted to Tufts Medical Centre and placed on life support before later being taken to Boston Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday, February 27.

On February 8, Cameran Wheatley, a 17-year-old senior at Bremen High School, collapsed during a basketball game against Chicago High School at about 9:20 pm before dying later at Christ Hospital.

On the same day, Devonte Mumphrey collapsed and died during a Yellowjackets’ basketball game after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

Devonte, 15, was a basketball standout who was nominated for Mr Texas Basketball Player of the Week after scoring 45 points in a single game in January. As a freshman, Mumphrey was named the District Newcomer of the Year.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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