You may have missed it when it came out in January, but ESPN did a long takeout on Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan, who is 6-foot-9, 245 pounds.
Which is almost 150 pounds lighter than he was as an 8th grader, when this video was taken.
He weighed nearly 400 pounds at the time, and that didn’t tell you half his problems. His father’s drug addiction had dragged his family into transience and homelessness, with Swanigan attending at least 13 different schools before he even got to high school.
There story of Swanigan’s journey from that point to where he is today, at 19, preparing to face Kansas in the Sweet 16, is long and worth your time if you have it. If you don’t, here’s the nut graf: He was legally adopted by an Indiana sports agent who taught him to work out and eat well.
The adoption process took three years to complete because the state’s adoption officials could not initially find Swanigan’s mother and father to sign the paperwork. They also wanted proof Barnes, a single man, could care for Swanigan. Barnes said he had to submit a letter from his pastor to complete the adoption.
By 2015 he was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball. This year, he’s averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. You could say he’s come a long way.