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Former Purdue basketball star and first-round NBA draft pick dies at 25

The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Caleb Swanigan in 2017. He also played for the Sacramento Kings.
Image: Caleb Swanigan Perdue
Caleb Swanigan of the Purdue Boilermakers during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at the Breslin Center on Jan. 24, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. Rey Del Rio / Getty Images file
/ Source: Associated Press

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Former Purdue basketball star Caleb Swanigan has died at 25.

The Allen County Coroner’s office confirmed Tuesday that Swanigan died Monday of natural causes at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

A private doctor will be handling his death certificate, according to Rebecca Maze, a senior investigator at the coroner’s office.

Purdue Men’s basketball tweeted Tuesday: “Devastated,” and “Our thoughts and prayers to Caleb Swanigan’s family and friends. The world lost a gentle soul last night. Love you Biggie.”

The 6-foot-9 center was from Fort Wayne and attended Homestead High School before playing for the Boilermakers from 2015-2017. He averaged more than 14 points and 10 rebounds for Purdue.

Swanigan was selected as The Associated Press player of the year in the Big Ten Conference in 2017 when he averaged more than 18 points. He was a unanimous pick for both Big Ten Player of the Year and the AP All-Big Ten team.

Swanigan was a first-round draft pick in 2017 by the Portland Trail Blazers. He also played for the Sacramento Kings.