By Glenn Minnis
Free agent center Greg Oden faces felony battery charges stemming from a domestic abuse incident where he allegedly punched his ex-girlfriend in the face after a night of drinking.
The 26-year-old Oden was formally charged by prosecutors in Indiana on Monday. In addition, the former 2007 top-overall draft pick also faces charges of misdemeanor domestic battery, and misdemeanor battery resulting in serious bodily injury. Oden was first taken into custody at his mother's house in Lawrence, Indiana last Thursday.
A witness told police the 7-foot, 285-pound Oden struck the victim Christina Green so hard he drew blood. In all, Green was allegedly struck three times and suffered a fractured bone in her nose and required three stitches to her face.
The Level 5 felony Oden now faces carries up to six years in prison. Oden is slated to appear in court for a hearing on Tuesday. A crying Green reportedly first told police she suffered her injuries when she fell and refused to allow police to take photos of her injuries.
"Thing got out of control, and I started to go after Christina," Oden told IndyStar.com. "My mother and Toni tried to hold me back, but I swung my arms to move them out of the way and then punched Christina in the face. I was wrong, and I know what has to happen."
Oden was tabbed by Portland with the No. 1 pick of his draft class, ahead even of reigning league MVP Kevin Durant. After undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee, he was forced to sit out his entire rookie season and never blossomed into the player many once predicted he would be.
In all, he played in just 82 games over the entire five seasons he spent with the Blazers' organization, missing three straight seasons (2011-13) entirely. Oden's best overall season came with the Blazers in 2009-10, when he averaged 11 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.
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