Several news organizations are reporting that former Terre Haute resident Greg Oden, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, has been hired to join Butler men’s basketball coach Thad Matta as a member of his team for the 2022-23 season.
According 247sports.comOden will be part of the Bulldogs’ supporting staff, citing a Tuesday report by IndyStar’s David Woods. Matta coached Oden at Ohio State during the 2006-07 season. Matta is also bringing former Ohio State star Jon Diebler on board, according to the report.
Oden, who was born in Buffalo before moving to Terre Haute at a young age, spent last season as a graduate assistant at Ohio State.
“I’m grateful, honestly, for Coach Holt [Chris Holtmann] and his team who took me in and gave me this opportunity because that’s literally what I want to do is become a coach,” Oden told The Dispatch last September. “One of the hardest things to do is get your foot in the door, so for them to give me this opportunity while I’m able to get a master’s degree in athletic coaching from Ohio State University, that that I would love, it’s something that is just amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m so grateful and ready to take advantage of this opportunity.
Oden – a five-star freshman from Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis – signed on with Matta and the Buckeyes to form a class of 2006 known as the “Thad Five”, which included other top Daequan prospects Cook, Mike Conley and David Lighty, as well as junior college transfer Othello Hunter.
After suffering an injury early in his college career, Oden helped lead Ohio State to the NCAA Final Four and a national championship game appearance in 2007. After averaging 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game during his year in college, Oden declared for the 2007 NBA draft, where he was selected first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.
But chronic knee injuries limited Oden to just 82 total regular-season games over six NBA seasons. After playing his first two years with the Trail Blazers and averaging 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, Oden reappeared with the Miami Heat for the 2013-14 season. He played 23 games for Miami alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and helped the team to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.
The 7-foot Oden played the 2015-16 campaign in China for the Jiangsu Dragons, averaging 13 points, 12.6 rebounds and two blocks per game. He then returned to Ohio State to begin his coaching career and complete his education.