A 1990 graduate of Brunswick High, Swinson was one of the best basketball players to suit up for a Glynn County team. Following a stellar high school career with the Pirates, Swinson went on to play at Auburn University, where he was a three-year letter winner and two-year captain for the Tigers. He concluded his career with a 63-percent field goal percentage (just behind the legendary Charles Barkley) and was the 12th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point club. Swinson earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1994 and third-team All-SEC accolades in 1993. Swinson played for 11 years professionally, beginning in 1994 with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. He then played for the Continental Basketball Association's Yakima Sun Kings. He was their No. 1 draft pick and led the team to the CBA championship in 1995. He earned MVP honors and was named First-Team All-Rookie, the second player ever to win such accolades in the same season. Swinson also played in Italy for the Montecatina Sporting Club and Rose Sharks Roseto; in Spain for Pamesa Valencia, Juventut Badalona, Ourence, C.B.C. Algeciras and Los Barrios; in Argentina for Argentina Libertad Sunchales; and in France with Pau Orthez.
Following his playing career, he returned to Auburn to finish out his degree in adult education in 2005. Since that time, he has remained close to basketball as a coach. He started out with the Holland Hall Prep School girls varsity team as an assistant coach, helping the team to a division championship. He was head coach at the school in 2006-07. He then spent one season as assistant head coach with the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. In 2008, he also served as a head coach for the NBA D-League pre-draft camp and an assistant coach for the D-League Summer League. Swinson later worked as an assistant coach for the Tulsa University women’s team, serving under his wife and head coach Charlene Thomas-Swinson, and is now an assistant basketball coach at the University of Cincinnati.