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Former NBA, Trail Blazers Player Caleb Swanigan Dies at 25

Sad news about a young former player.

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Portland Trail Blazers and Purdue Boilermakers player Caleb Swanigan has died at the age of 25. The news came this morning from WANE television in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The outlet said that the coroner’s office in Allen County, Indiana had confirmed that Swanigan passed of natural causes. NBA journalist Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted that Swanigan’s alma mater, Purdue University, had confirmed his passing.

Caleb Swanigan, the Purdue standout who played three NBA seasons with Portland and Sacramento, has passed away at 25 years old, his alma mater says. RIP.

The Trail Blazers selected Swanigan 26th overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. The then-unheralded rookie made an immediate splash, being named to the First Team of the 2017 NBA Summer League. He would appear in 27 games for Portland his rookie season, then 18 more in his second year before the Blazers traded him to the Sacramento Kings for Skal Labassiere in February of 2019.

Swanigan played for the Kings until January of 2020, when the Blazers reacquired him in a trade that included forwards Trevor Ariza and Wenyon Gabriel. Swanigan would earn 20 more court appearances in the balance of the 2019-20 season before the Blazers released him in the summer of 2020.

Swanigan also won Indiana’s Mr. Basketball award in 2015 and was named Big Ten player of the year in 2017, becoming a consensus first-team All American and a finalist for the Naismith Award that same season.

Blazer’s Edge offers condolences to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends in this difficult time.