Gregory Wayne Oden, Jr. (born January 22, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Jiangsu Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Oden, a 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m), 273-pound center, played college basketball at Ohio State University for one season, during which the team was the Big Ten Champion and the tournament runner-up in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. He currently serves as a student manager for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
On June 29, 2005, Oden and Lawrence North teammate Mike Conley, Jr. announced that they would be attending Ohio State University starting with the 2006–07 season.
Oden had surgery on his right wrist on June 16, 2006, in Indianapolis to repair a ligament injury that occurred late in his senior high school season. As a result, he sat on the Ohio State bench during the beginning of the 2006–07 season, during which the Buckeyes were ranked as high as #1 before losing to North Carolina. He made his college debut on December 2, 2006, against Valparaiso, coming off the bench. He finished the game with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks. In December of that year, Steve Kerr described him as a “once-in-a-decade player”.
The Big Ten honored Oden as Player of the Week, along with Wisconsin’s Alando Tucker, on January 29, 2007. In the previous week, he had averaged 18 points and 11.5 rebounds. On March 6, 2007, Oden was named First Team All-Big Ten as well being voted the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. Oden fouled out for the first time in his college career against Xavier in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and was bothered by foul trouble throughout the tournament. In the Sweet Sixteen, Oden blocked a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds against Tennessee to preserve an 85–84 victory, and went on to lead Ohio State past Memphis and Georgetown to advance to the 2007 National Championship. In the title game, Oden scored 25 points, and had 12 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in a losing effort against the Florida Gators.
Oden alongside, Kevin Durant, Arron Afflalo, Alando Tucker and Acie Law were named to the Associated Press All-American Team. Oden and Durant were the first freshmen voted to the All-American First Team since 1990, and the third and fourth overall. Throughout his high school and college career, Oden never lost a home game.
On April 20, 2007, Oden announced that he would be entering the 2007 NBA draft. On June 28, 2007, he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the #1 overall pick. To begin his Trail Blazers career, Oden chose the uniform number 52. On July 1, before his first NBA practice, Oden was signed to a contract which provided for two guaranteed seasons and team options for third and fourth seasons. On September 14, 2007, Oden had microfracture surgery on his ailing right knee. He missed the entire season. Oden’s progress was recorded on the Trail Blazers’ website and his blog.
Although drafted in 2007, Oden was classified as a rookie for the 2008–09 season because of the knee injury. Entering the 2008–09 season, he was listed at 250 lb (110 kg), but according to Blazers’ trainer Jay Jensen he weighed about 290 lb (130 kg) in July.Oden left his NBA debut with a foot injury after playing thirteen scoreless minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers. He returned on November 12, 2008, after missing two weeks, and scored his first NBA points in the first quarter against the Miami Heat. On January 19, 2009, Oden had a career-high 24 points while also grabbing 15 rebounds in a 102–85 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. On February 13, 2009, he injured his left knee in a game against the Golden State Warriors, by bumping knees with opponent Corey Maggette, and missed three weeks due to a chipped knee cap.
On November 23, 2009, Oden matched his career-high for points in a game again with 24. He set a new career-high for rebounds in a game with 20 on December 1. On December 5, 2009, Oden injured his left knee in the first quarter of a game. He was taken off the court on two connected stretchers. Later, he underwent surgery for a fractured left patella and missed the rest of the season. That injury marked the second time Oden had missed major playing time due to injury.
On March 15, 2012, Oden was waived by the Trail Blazers to create room on the roster for trade acquisitions. In May 2012, Oden announced his intention to sit out the 2012–13 season to focus on rehabbing his injuries. In January 2013, it was reported that several teams were interested in signing Oden for the 2013–14 season.
On August 7, 2013, Oden signed a one-year deal with the Miami Heat. He played in his first NBA game since December 5, 2009 in a preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans on ctober 23, 2013. He managed to score two points through a dunk attempt and grabbed two rebounds in four minutes of play.
On January 15, 2014, Oden made his long-awaited return to the court. In his first regular season game since December 2009, he recorded 6 points and 2 rebounds in 8 minutes of game time in a 114–97 loss to the Washington Wizards. On February 23, 2014, Oden made his first start since December 2009 in the Heat’s 93–79 win over the Chicago Bulls. The Heat made the 2014 NBA Finals where they faced the San Antonio Spurs. They went on to lose the series in five games.
On August 26, 2015, Oden signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Jiangsu Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association. On December 9, he recorded a season-high 22 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Shandong. On February 1, 2016, he parted ways with Jiangsu. In 25 games for the club, he averaged 13.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
Career highlights and awards
Consensus second-team All-American (2007)
NABC Defensive Player of the Year (2007)
Pete Newell Big Man Award (2007)
McDonalds All-American MVP (2006)
Naismith Prep Player of the Year (2006)
2× Gatorade Player of the Year (2005, 2006)
Gatorade Athlete of the Year (2006)
2× USA Today Player of the Year (2005, 2006)
2× Parade Player of the Year (2005, 2006)
Mr. Basketball USA (2006)
Indiana Mr. Basketball (2006)