Purdue star Caleb Swanigan, one of the best players in college basketball and an All-American, announced that he would not be coming back to West Lafayette for his remaining two years of eligibility and would instead enter the NBA Draft.

Swanigan is projected by most to be a second round draft pick, despite the fact that he was a better college player than many who will be taken ahead of him. He led Purdue to a Big Ten regular season title this year, and he ranked as the fourth-best player in the country, according to the advanced metrics site KenPom.com. In addition to being a top rebounder, he can also shoot well from three.

He was “nationally ranked” in KenPom (top 500 nationally) in minutes percentage, usage rate, offensive rating, shot percentage, effective field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, offensive rebounding percentage, defensive rebounding percentage, assist rate, block percentage, free throw defense per 40 minutes, free throw rate, free¬†throw percentage, two-point field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage.

But the most interesting thing about Swanigan is his story. Once homeless and obese, Swanigan became a five-star basketball recruit after moving in with his adoptive family, and he transformed his body and his game to become a future NBA player. Nicknamed “Biggie,” he was 6-foot-2, 360 pounds in eighth grade, according to a Bleacher Report profile. He’s now 6-foot-9, 250 pounds.

Here’s to Biggie lighting up the NBA, just like he did in college.

About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.