Caleb Swanigan was born on April 18th, 1997, and from there had a rough road ahead of him before becoming a Boilermaker. He is a sibling to 5 other kids and is the son of a father who was a crack cocaine addict and a mother who didn’t have a steady job and was living on food stamps and welfare checks. He told his older brother he wanted to become a basketball player and his life completely changed.
As a 6’2”, 360-pound 8th grader, he was adopted by a man named Roosevelt Barnes. Barnes was a college football player for Purdue and later became a linebacker for the Detroit Lions in the NFL. After retiring, he became a very well-known and successful sports agent. When Barnes heard about Swanigan’s situation, he immediately took Swanigan in and officially adopted him.
Barnes and Swanigan worked every day to get Swanigan into the shape he needed to be in to live out his dream of being a basketball player. Between the workouts, diets, and schooling, Swanigan got to where he wanted to be, on the court for the Purdue Men’s Basketball Team as a Boilermaker.
Swanigan is beginning his sophomore year as a Boilermaker, but during his freshman year he had a personal record breaking season. Going into his freshman year he was already ranked 9th in ESPN’s Top 100 for the class of 2015 and was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball, an award that hasn’t been given to a Boilermaker since Glenn Robinson in 1991. Those were only two of the many awards and titles he had when starting his first season with Purdue. He was named to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team as well as a mid-season finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award (nation's top freshman) and early-season candidate for the Karl Malone Award (nation's top power forward). He now has a school record after being named Big Ten Freshman of the week three times last season. Swanigan averaged 10.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, setting Purdue freshman records for 282 rebounds and 8 double-doubles.
After a record breaking first season, it will be exciting to see the great things Swanigan will do in the next three years at Purdue and also after he graduates. Keep it up Caleb! All the Boilermakers out there are rooting for you!
For more information about Purdue Sports and the Lafayette-West Lafayette area visit www.HomeOfPurdue.com. This blog was shared by Amanda, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Intern.