Caleb Swanigan is a professional basketball player who joined the Portland Trail Blazers after the 2017 NBA Draft. From a childhood of scarcity and homelessness to an outstanding athlete as a teenager, Swanigan’s path to the NBA is like a fairy tale. He had an outstanding high school career, which he completed as one of the highest-rated players in the 2015 class. Similarly, he had an explosive college career at Purdue University, which he completed as Big Ten Player of the Year 2017, among other awards.
Caleb Swanigan’s Bio, Age
Caleb Swanigan was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 18, 1997, the son of Tanya and Carl Swanigan Sr. However, his upbringing was affected by several challenges as his father struggled with drug addiction for most of his adult life, came into conflict with the law on several occasions and physically abused his mother. As a result, the young Swanigan was forced several times to live with his mother and siblings in homeless shelters. As a teenager, he was introduced by his older brother Carl Jr. to former basketball coach and sports agent Roosevelt Barnes, who eventually adopted him.
This was an important turning point in Swanigan’s life as he transformed himself from an overweight teenager to an outstanding student-athlete in the state of Indiana. He played for the Homestead Senior High basketball team in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and led the school to the state championship for the first time in its life in his final year of school. He set the school record for the most points (704) and rebounds (424) in a single season, as well as the highest number of career points (1,649) and rebounds (1,048).
His impressive performance earned him the Indiana Mr. Basketball Award and he was named Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year. He also participated in the McDonald’s All-American 2015, the Jordan Brand Classic, and the Nike Hoop Summit. For his college career, Caleb Swanigan made an oral commitment to Michigan State University in April 2016 but canceled his commitment a month later. He eventually chose Purdue University, as was announced in a social media article on May 19, 2015.
Swanigan had an epic rookie season, with the Purdue Boilermakers basketball team among the top 10 rookies in the nation. He started every game and set the program records for most games started by a rookie (34), most rebounds (282), double-doubles (8), and rebounds per game (8.3). He was appointed to the Big Ten All-Freshman team and was declared for the 2016 NBA Draft at the end of the season. However, he eventually retired from the draft and decided to return to his second season.
The talented player continued his historic exploits after his return to the second season. He led the team to first place in the Big Ten Conference, but the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Big Ten tournament after losing to the eventual champion, the University of Michigan. He was also the first player in 25 years to collect 600 points, 400 rebounds, and 100 assists in one season.
He set the Purdue program record for the most rebounds in a season (436), beating Joe Barry Carroll’s 1979 record, and also set a Purdue record for the most doubles (20) in a season, in addition to an NCAA record for the most 20-20 assists (4). Swanigan finished the season as Big Ten Top Scorer, was unanimously voted First Team All-Big-Ten and was finally named Big Ten Player of the Year. He was also listed among the 4 finalists for the “Naismith College Player of the Year” award.
Caleb Swanigan competed in the 2017 NBA Draft and was ranked 26th in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers, making history as Purdue University’s first player to be drafted at a lower level than junior year.
In the 2017 NBA Summer League, the talented player put on a great show, performing in all 8 games with the Blazers. He averaged 16.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.25 assists, and 1.4 steals per game, a performance that earned him honors in the All-Summer League First Team.
Swanigan played 15 games (3 games) with the Trail Blazers in the 2017-18 NBA season with an average of 8.9 minutes, 2.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.6 assists. In December 2017 he was assigned to an NBA-G league team, the Canton Charge. On February 4, 2018, he was recalled after almost 2 months.
Height and Other Body Measurements
Caleb Swanigan is 203 cm (6 feet 8 inches) tall, the same height as his biological father when he was an adult. The NBA star has a bodyweight of 113 kg (250 lbs). As he grew up, Swanigan had difficulty keeping his weight under control. As with his height, he inherited his tendency to obesity from his father. With the help of his adoptive father, Roosevelt Barnes, a professional athlete in his prime, he eventually gained control of his physique.
Other Facts About Caleb Swanigan
Swanigan’s father Carl Swanigan Sr. died in 2014 at the age of 50 due to complications from diabetes. In his honor, the younger Swanigan chose the number 50 jersey during his college basketball career at Purdue University.
Internationally, Caleb Swanigan represents the United States men’s basketball team. He won gold with the U17 squad at the 2014 U17 World Championship. He also won gold with the U19 squad at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.