NBA rookie honors former Flyer McElvene

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18:  Caleb Swanigan #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers handles the ball while being guarded by Solomon Young #33 and Darrell Bowie #10 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonthan Daniel/Getty Images)

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MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 18: Caleb Swanigan #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers handles the ball while being guarded by Solomon Young #33 and Darrell Bowie #10 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 18, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonthan Daniel/Getty Images)

Caleb Swanigan was friends with late Dayton center in high school

Portland Trail Blazers rookie Caleb Swanigan is wearing a wristband with the words “R.I.P. No. 5” during NBA Summer League action this month. He did the same last season at Purdue.

Swanigan was friends with late Dayton Flyers center Steve McElvene in high school in Fort Wayne, Ind., and wants to continue to honor McElvene, who died at age 20 on May 12, 2016, of an enlarged heart, at the pro level.

"I'm not really one that's interested in tattoos," Swanigan told the Las Vegas Review Journal. "This is probably something I'll do for a while."

ONE YEAR LATER: Remembering McElvene

Swanigan graduated from Homestead High School in Fort Wayne. McElvene graduated from New Haven. The two played AAU basketball together.

Swanigan played two seasons at Purdue and was drafted in the first round, No. 26 overall, by the Blazers in June.

Dayton honored McElvene by wearing No. 5 on the front of their jerseys last season.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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5 things to know: Steve McElvene.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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