The last time that twenty-four-year-old Caleb Swanigan played in a professional basketball game was just over a year ago, on March 10, and the 6’9″ Portland Trail Blazers power forward weighed 249 pounds. However, the Purdue University star and 2015’s IndyStar “Mr. Basketball” has since seen his weight balloon to north of 400 pounds, as evidenced from photos of a court date in Whitley County, Indiana. But when someone on the Internet posted contrasting photos of Swanigan and asked, “How the hell does someone go from this to that in a year?????,” former teammate Damian Lillard came to Swanigan’s defense.
In reply to CrossedSports’ now-deleted IG post, Lillard wrote, “If you gone [sic] post this shit with real concern that’s cool. But don’t ask “how does one go from “this to that”… he [sic] clearly having real life issues… If you gone [sic] be supportive then do that but don’t ask no shit like that…” Swanigan battled childhood obesity and was a 13-year-old boy who stood at 6′ 2″ and weighed as much as 360 pounds in 2011 when he earned the nickname “Biggie.”
On December 23, 2020, Columbia City Police Department officers say they stopped his vehicle around 2 a.m. because it was traveling far below the 60 m.p.h. limit, and the driver was not using any traffic signals. Upon inspecting the car, the officers say they found 3.4 pounds of marijuana and $3,415 in cash inside the SUV.
Now, per the IndyStar, Swanigan was able to keep out of jail thanks to a plea deal and found himself facing a 180-day suspended sentence instead. He also had to cough up $735 in court fees and fines. Swanigan was also told to stay away from any alcohol or marijuana, including CBD products, since they may show up on urine tests and result in a violation of his agreement.
Swanigan is still young, though, and has proven he can be a good presence for several ball teams when he is able to get his health under control. Shout out to “Dame Time” for sticking up for Swanigan – Lillard always was a real one. And here’s to hoping “Biggie” can get the help he needs to right the ship.