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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Oden practices with Blazers for first time

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Greg Oden practiced with the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time since right knee surgery ended his season six months ago.

Oden, the 7-foot center taken with the first pick in last year's draft, participated in offensive drills and even dunked during 45 minutes of work Wednesday. The Blazers were in Sacramento for Thursday night's game against the Kings.

"It was fun," Oden told The Oregonian newspaper. "It felt good to get out there ... and I wasn't hurting at all."

Coach Nate McMillan surprised the team when he called players to participate in a drill -- and included Oden.

"There was somewhat of an uproar by the team," McMillan said. "Some of them said 'Greg?' and I was like, 'Yeah, Greg.'

"I think everyone was just excited to see him on the floor."

Oden, who played one season at Ohio State before he was selected by the Blazers last June, required microfracture surgery to repair his knee.

Oden, an Indianapolis prep star, said he went through the practice at half speed. He also worked with assistant coach Maurice Lucas.

"Yeah, I got a couple of dunks, because at the end, coach Luke was just getting out of the way," Oden said. "But coach (McMillan) didn't want me to go hard, because I'm not cleared to go all the way hard. It's just me getting out there and learning the plays. But I'd like to do that more often."

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