Jared Sullinger Shines in Panini America Appearance at the 2013 National

August 03, 2013


ROSEMONT, Ill.Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger made it look easy, and fun, on Friday during an hour-long appearance at the Panini America booth on the floor of the 34th National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

Sullinger, a standout at Ohio State before turning pro, smiled for photos and offered playful trash talk to fans wearing gear from some of his one-time Big Ten rivals. All kidding aside, Sullinger happily signed dozens of autographs for collectors who waited in a line that extended well beyond Panini America’s territory.

“I’m having a lot of fun. You see a lot of fans from Boston, Columbus and all over,” Sullinger said.

Jason Cross made the trip from Freeport, Ill., to be first in line for Sullinger’s appearance.

“I got here early, saw the sign, thought ‘Why not?’ and got in line,” Cross said. “I was happy to be first, otherwise it would be a long wait.”

Sullinger was the Celtics first-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft after leading the Buckeyes to the Final Four the previous spring. He signed a multitude of Panini Private Signings photos before taking a tour of the Panini America booth. He expressed gratitude for the fans who eagerly awaited his autograph on Friday.

“The turnout was awesome. On top of that, I’m a people person and I like to talk, so (chatting with fans) kind of made my day as well,” Sullinger said.

Check out our video interview with Sullinger and photos from his appearance — and the rest of Friday’s highlights — below.