Basketball / Sports

Former Miami Heat center Greg Oden charged with punching woman

Free agent center Greg Oden, who missed four seasons with knee problems before playing 23 games for the Miami Heat last season, was arrested and charged with battery early Thursday morning after allegedly punching a woman that he says he dated for two years before a breakup two months ago.

Police were summoned to the Lawrence, Ind., home of Oden's mother at 3:30 a.m. Officers arrived to find the victim crying and lying across a bed holding her face.

"He punched her in the face," a witness, described as the victim's best friend, told police.

Police observed blood, swelling to the nose, lacerations to the forehead and nose area of the victim's face, and also saw blood on the sofa, living room carpet and floor in a sitting area, as well as dirt from a flower pot that was knocked over.

Oden was calm and apologetic with police, telling them: "I was wrong and I know what has to happen."

Before Thursday's incident, the Heat had not publicly ruled out re-signing Oden but had not made any attempt to do so.

The Heat likely will add another veteran center at the minimum to replace Oden.

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