We heard the story over and over again. Anytime Purdue basketball played between the years of 2015 and 2017 we heard it. And that was fine, because it was a good story. It was the story of a young man who grew up in a difficult environment that included homeless shelters, moving back and forth between Utah and Indiana with a mother trying to do her best with six children and a father who had fallen victim to drug addiction. It was the story of a young man who loved dessert, cheesecake especially, who seemingly used food to comfort himself in these awful situations. Ultimately he reached 360 pounds before he even set foot in high school. But then, something changed.Caleb Swanigan was just 13 years old when former Purdue football player Roosevelt Barnes, at the behest of Caleb’s older brother, took him under his wing, ultimately adopting him, and bringing him to live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Barnes understood what it took to excel both on the field and off and hoped to instill that drive in young Caleb. Unlike his adopted father though football was not the game for Swanigan. No, his game was basketball. Despite being 300+ pounds there was something to his game. Something that Barnes saw that he believed could change Swanigan’s life.And so the work began. When you’re 6’2 and 360 pounds in the 8th grade you’re likely the biggest amongst your classmates in more ways than one. Hence the nickname, Biggie. For anyone out there who has tried to lose weight you know how hard it can be. It takes dedication to not just exercise but also eat right. The eating right is so important. And for someone who lived with food insecurity and an incomprehensible situation it can be extremely difficult. In a story posted to Swanigan himself pointed out the challenges of eating right:And so with the help of Harrison Barnes, Caleb ‘Biggie’ Swanigan began to get a little less, well, biggie. Swanigan worked his way into a high school basketball star and a highly sought after college recruit. After initialing committing to play for the Michigan State Spartans he flipped his commitment and chose to play for the Purdue Boilermakers. Swanigan would go on to be invited to the McDonald’s All-American game and be named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball. Incredible achievements that would have seemed impossible to the Caleb Swanigan from just five years earlier.At Purdue Swanigan was an immediate impact player. His greatest skill was probably his rebounding. No one wanted the ball after it came off that rim more than him and if you thought you wanted it you were going to have to go through him. He was a proficient scorer as well but nothing compared to the rebounding. In his very first college game he finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He would go on to have 40 double digit rebound games out of a total of 69 games played in college. He would grab 20 or more rebounds four times during his sophomore season. That sophomore season was even more special if we look at it by itself. Forget those 40 double digit rebound games I mentioned above. Instead, just look at his sophomore season and you realize he had 29 double digit rebound games that season out of just 35 games. That’s 6 times over an entire season that he didn’t have double digit rebounds. It’s unlike anything I’d ever seen or am likely to see again. He had a nose for the ball that was unparalleled. Rebounding at the collegiate level is all about effort. And for a guy who changed his entire body and his entire life effort was never in short supply.Following this incredible season for Swanigan he was named a becoming the first Purdue player to do so in six seasons. The Purdue sports release on this achievement spells out just how incredible this sophomore season was:Following this season he did the smart thing and declared for the NBA Draft. He was selected in the first round, 26th overall, by the Portland Trailblazers. He had done the unthinkable. The young man who weighed in at nearly 400 pounds had transformed his body and his mind and became a first round NBA Draft pick. It’s a fairytale. It’s something that you almost wouldn’t believe if you hadn’t seen it happen with your own eyes. Something that truly seemed too good to be true. I suppose now we know that in a way it was.You and I weren’t there when it happened. We don’t know what led Caleb Swanigan down the dark path that he had seemingly escaped from. I won’t try to speculate but instead will only say that the Covid-19 pandemic caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. Swanigan seemed to thrive under the structure provided by Roosevelt Barnes, Purdue Basketball, and an NBA system. We first saw a change when the NBA Bubble happened. Despite the Trailblazers heading to the bubble Caleb Swanigan opted not to join the From there you likely know the story. You heard about the arrest, you saw the mugshot that showed the and you wished it wasn’t true. Unfortunately though, it was all true. Caleb Swanigan, the young man who fought so hard and sacrificed so much in order to find stability away from a life of drugs and overeating had found himself in the position that many had long feared was his destiny. With a father who weighed over 500 pounds, who used drugs, and had diabetes there must have been a dark shadow plaguing him his whole life. For a number of years he had outrun it. He’d risen above the challenges of his upbringing to become what most of us could only dream of. He was an NBA player, he was an All-American, he had his jersey retired at a major university. Sadly, it wasn’t enoughFor Caleb Swanigan the race is over. News broke early this morning that he had passed away at age 25. Details are still emerging but initial reports show a death of natural causes. It’s tragic no matter the cause. His teammates from his time at Purdue began tweeting about it this morning. The young man who overcame so much and put it all out on the floor each and every night was gone.Caleb Swanigan’s life was a great story with so many highs. Following his arrest I had hoped for Swanigan to do what he did best, to rebound once more. To see the next move and go up and grab it. That wasn’t to be. Now, the life that had all the hallmarks of an uplifting tale ends not with cheers but with tears.
Caleb Swanigan, former Purdue men’s basketball star and NBA first-round pick, dies at 25
Caleb Swanigan, un ex NBA, fallece a los 25 años Swanigan era un recluta muy buscado que eligió quedarse en casa y jugar para los Boilermakers después de comprometerse originalmente con Michigan State. Tuvo una destacada campaña de segundo año en Purdue y fue nombrado el Big Ten Player of the Year y fue un consenso del primer equipo All American. También fue finalista del Premio Naismith. Después de la temporada, ingresó al draft de la NBA y fue seleccionado en el puesto número 26.Atkinson y los Hornets acordaron en principio un contrato de cuatro años, pero nunca se firmó, dijeron las fuentes.D’Antoni, según las fuentes, tuvo dos reuniones con la gerencia de los Hornets antes de las noticias de Atkinson.D’Antoni tuvo marca de 217-102 en sus cuatro temporadas (2016-2020) como entrenador de los Rockets, avanzando una vez a las finales de la Conferencia Oeste y tres veces a las semifinales de conferencia. D’Antoni, dos veces Entrenador del Año de la NBA (2004, 2017), llevó a los Rockets al porcentaje de victorias más alto en la Conferencia Oeste durante esos cuatro años
James Harden was averaging over 34 points per game as recently as two years ago, but in the words of the great philosopher Joel Embiid, “that’s not who he is anymore”.
Harden struggled to get by his man in Philadelphia, and that lack of burst also affected his ability to create space and make jumpers at a decent rate. Harden’s 33 percent shooting from long-range was a career-low, and his 41 percent field goal shooting was his worst clip since his rookie season.The 76ers are unlikely to get anywhere near equal value for Harden via trade, so they will have to hope he regains at least some of his old form. Harden has stated publicly that he intends on returning to Philadelphia. He has a player option for next season and beyond that, the Sixers will likely give him a short-term dealThe University of Nevada is expected to hire LSU executive deputy athletic director/COO Stephanie Rempe as its new athletic director, sources told ESPN.Rempe is one of the country’s most respected deputy athletic directors, as she played a prominent role in the recent spree of high-profile LSU hires — Brian Kelly (football), Matt McMahon (men’s basketball) and Kim Mulkey (women’s basketball). Her role at LSU includes overseeing “every facet of the daily operations” of the athletic department, per LSU athletics.Rempe will take over in Reno for Doug Knuth, who left after the sides mutually agreed to part ways in April. Knuth had been at Nevada since 2013 and oversaw a generally successful run in football and men’s basketball during that stretchAlong with a prominent executive deputy role under Scott Woodward at LSU, she has also worked in the same position at Texas A&M for three years prior to arriving at LSU in 2019. Prior to that, Rempe was a senior associate athletic director at Washington (2008-16) and at Oklahoma (2003-08) and an associate athletic director at UTEP (1998-2003).Rempe is a former volleyball star at Arizona, where she lettered for four years and began her career in college athletics as a senior program coordinator (1995-98). Rempe will become the second female athletic director in Nevada history, joining former athletic director Cary Groth (2004-13). Rempe will become the only female athletic director in the Mountain West Conference.