In 2004, standout high school basketball player Robert Swift was selected in the first round of the NBA draft. Nine years later, Swift was found living in squalor in a mansion… Nearly two months after the home was purchased by another couple.
The Seattle-area house, which Swift purchased for $1.35 million in 2006, was put in foreclosure after he was unable to make payments. Even though newlyweds Eric Dalzell and Jessica Ko bought the home two months ago, Swift refused to leave. Under threat of forcible eviction, Swift finally vacated the premises last week.
Upon getting access to their house for the first time, Dalzell and Ko found what can only be described as a disaster. This video from KOMO News in Seattle shows more…
The lawn was filled with empty beer cans and a few broken-down cars remained parked in the driveway. Still, that was nothing compared to the filth waiting inside. After being welcomed by a front door sign saying “Danger Men Drinking,” Dalzell and Ko discovered Swift left many of his possessions — as well as piles of trash, holes in the walls and an overwhelmingly rancid odor.
“The first thing you get when you walk in the door is the kind of whiff of whatever is festering in here,” Ko told KOMO.
Among the belongings left behind were guns and ammo, which were seemingly used in a makeshift shooting range in the basement. There was also a collection of mementos from a career that began with so much hope and ended with disappointment.
The first task for Dalzell and Ko is sorting through the piles of trash, which includes soggy cigarette butts, empty alcohol bottles and other unexplainable objects.
“We found a five-gallon jug of piss sitting in the corner of the room,” Ko told Buzzfeed.
Ko also described the disgusting state of their back deck.
“The back deck was covered in dog crap — it looked like an elephant had had diarrhea. Robert apparently had two great danes, and they just let them crap, then shoveled it into a pile on the wooden deck. But because it rains so much here, it eventually just turned liquidy and spread to cover the entire deck.”
Dalzell and Ko estimate it will take two months of renovations before the home is livable — even though it was lived in by Swift until last week.
Despite offers from some of the top colleges in the nation, the 7′ 1″ Swift entered the NBA draft straight out of high school. He was selected in the first round of picks for the Seattle SuperSonics, which became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. In 2009 Swift was moved to the NBA D-League, but opted to play professionally in Japan instead. He completed his basketball career in 2011.
Although he earned an estimated $11 to $20 million from basketball, Swift seemingly lost the majority of his savings shortly after he ended playing. However, what is the biggest concern with this story is what it says about the state of Swift’s mental health.
As Kelly Dwyer wrote for Yahoo! Sports, “Bummers all around, Robert Swift. Hopefully when you wake up, some of this can turn in the right direction.”
Photos courtesy of KOMO.