Tuesday, June 28

Caleb Swanigan, the former NBA ‘crack kid’ who put on 64kg in a year, has died

The NBA is in shock. Caleb Swanigan has died at the age of 25 in one of the most tragic stories the NBA has ever seen.

Swanigan‘s tale began with a troubled childhood, heavily linked to drugs, an exponential growth spurt that led him to basketball and a fall from grace that was linked to tremendous weight gain.

Swanigan reportedly died of natural causes. His university, Purdue, said in a statement.

“We are devastated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We lost a gentle soul last night. We love you, ‘Biggie. It was there that he played his best basketball after an impossible childhood,” the statement read.

He spent five seasons between Indianapolis and Utah, because he was a ‘crack kid’. His father, addicted to the drug cocaine, destroyed a family and even mistreated his mother, who was also reported to have weighed 220 kilos. She took care of her children. Caleb’s childhood was marked by bad eating habits, which ended up causing him to weigh 180 kilos at the age of 13.

His salvation came in the form of Roosevelt Barnes, a former football player and agent who adopted him and made him explore his qualities for basketball. There, he grew up to be an All-American in high school and entered the first round of the NBA Draft as the best rebounder in the college game.

In the NBA, he never really took off. He played very few games, was in the developmental league and quit the Orlando bubble. And, to make matters worse, he was arrested on December 23, 2020 for drug possession.

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It was treated as a misdemeanour, but when he went to court it was clear that he had put on 64 kilos more than when he arrived in the NBA. From 118 to 182. Seven months after his last appearance, it was revealed that he had died at the age of 25.

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