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Former No. 1 NBA draft pick Greg Oden arrested in Indianapolis on battery charges

Portland Trail Blazers centre Greg Oden sits on the bench after committing his second foul of the basketball game and injuring his right leg against Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008.

Associated Press

Police arrested former No. 1 NBA draft pick Greg Oden on battery charges early Thursday, alleging that he punched his ex-girlfriend in the face during a fight at his mother's suburban Indianapolis home.

The free agent centre, who played last season for the Miami Heat, was taken into custody at the home in Lawrence on two preliminary counts of misdemeanour battery. Oden, 26, was still in Marion County Jail as of early Thursday afternoon, jail spokesman Julio Fernandez said.

According to a Lawrence police report, officers were called to the home at around 3:30 a.m. and found a woman on a sofa with blood on her face. A friend of the woman told officers that Oden had "punched her in the face."

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Oden told officers he and the woman recently broke up after dating for two years. He said during an argument in which "things got out of control," he swung his arms trying to break free of two people holding him back and punched his ex-girlfriend, according to the report.

Oden's agent, Michael Conley Sr., directed all questions to Oden's attorney, James Bell, who declined to comment.

The 7-foot Oden was a star at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis and then played a season at Ohio State before the Portland Trail Blazers made him the top pick in the 2007 NBA draft.

Knee injuries have derailed Oden's professional career, and he didn't play from December 2009 until last season, when he averaged 2.9 points in 23 games for the Heat. He is currently without a team.

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