Purdue All-American Caleb Swanigan Died

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.

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