NBA Draft 2022: Johnny Davis talks partnership with Panini, collecting cards when he was younger

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Johnny Davis is likely to hear his name called within the first 10 or 12 picks of the NBA Draft on Thursday after a stellar sophomore season at Wisconsin.

Davis averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 31 games for the Badgers last season. He was the 2022 Big Ten Player of the Year and a Consensus All-American. The solid season propelled him up draft boards and mock drafts and there’s hope he could be an integral piece to any team.

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Johnny Davis of the Badgers drives to the basket on Cem Kirciman of the Green Bay Phoenix at Kohl Center on Nov. 12, 2021, in Madison, Wisconsin. (John Fisher/Getty Images / Getty Images)

But before he hears his name called, the 20-year-old college basketball star linked up with Panini America. He told FOX Business in a recent interview he was signing stickers for future basketball cards.

"It’s a card deal. So, I have to sign a lot of stickers," Davis said. "A lot of people think its dreading to sign a lot and that you get hand cramps and stuff, but I look at it as I’m making a lot of money and making sure that people can buy the cards to support me."

Davis was among a few NBA Draft prospects who signed deals with Panini America. He will get an instant digital collectible card as well the moment he hears his name called – much like what the company did with NFL Draft prospects earlier in the year.

The Badgers’ Johnny Davis dribbles the ball against the Colgate Raiders during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Fiserv Forum on March 18, 2022, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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The former Wisconsin player told FOX Business it was a dream come true for him because he and his old teammates used to collect basketball cards when they were younger.

"I collected cards a little bit when I was younger," he said. "Me and my team, whenever we would go to play in a tournament in this place called the Wisconsin Dells they would have a little shop with cards in plaques, that I’ve hung up in my room actually at home in La Crosse. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get one of mine up there."

Davis said he didn’t have any one player he collected, just anyone he thought was worthy enough to be on his wall.

Johnny Davis of the Badgers drives against the Colgate Raiders at the Fiserv Forum on March 18, 2022, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Just anybody I thought was good. I know I’d have like one of Steve Nash, David Robinson, Pete Maravich. Just anybody I thought was good at the time and worthy of being on my wall," he added.

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The NBA Draft is set to take place Thursday at 8 p.m. ET at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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