Former No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden back with Buckeyes as student-coach

Greg Oden, the 7-footer selected No. 1 overall in the 2007 NBA draft, has come full circle.

He's back with the Ohio State Buckeyes, helping head coach Thad Matta. This time, however, Oden is a student-coach instead of the unstoppable force on the floor that resulted in his being selected ahead of Kevin Durant by the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I wanted to stay around basketball, and coach gave me a lifeline to be here," Oden told the Indianapolis Star on Thursday. "To give me something to do with my afternoons.

"I'm still trying to figure out my life. Since I've been in fourth grade, all I've known was basketball. I'm just trying to better myself and work on my degree and set something up for the future of my family."

Oden's NBA career lasted all of 105 games because of multiple microfracture knee surgeries and other issues, including a plea deal with prosecutors to settle battery charges involving a former girlfriend.

He averaged 8.0 points and 6.2 rebounds, last playing for the Miami Heat in 2013-14, appearing in 23 games after a three-season layoff.

"Honestly, it was definitely unbelievable," Oden told the paper of his injuries. "With the third injury in a row, I was like, 'Are you kidding me right now?'"

Since then he has auditioned for the Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets while also playing in China, where his one season was cut short by injury in January.

The 28-year-old Oden is realistic in realizing he's done playing basketball.

"I wish," Oden told the Star. "It's over."

After recently becoming a father, Oden is trying to shape the next phase of his life. The Ohio State sophomore is majoring in sports industry.

"I wouldn't say I regret anything," Oden told the paper. "I would say I just wish I did things better."