With the electronic banner reading a brisk 36 degrees, the basketballs broke out.

Air was added to offset the slightly icy temperature that greeted a dozen rooters ready to brave these conditions for the better part of the next nine hours.

"Probably wasn't in my best interest to prepare so little," said Kokomo High School senior Brody Wampler, who admitted that he drank a few more bottles of water for the trek.

Its a long one, by the way.

These twelve Kokomo seniors will be making a brisk walk or job 60 miles down U.S. 30 on Friday afternoon and evening to show support for the boys basketball team. They made it all the way to the Class 4A State Championship game Saturday night, where their WildKats will face Bloomington South for the championship.

Oh, and they'll be dribbling the entire way too.

"Someone made a bet that if Kokomo made it to state that they would dribble down to Conseco," said senior Austin Conwell of the origins this tradition, which is believed to have been in the 1960s.

True to its sound, the dozen seniors who were among the most loyal fans of the WildKats during the seasons began at 3 P.M. Friday dribbling out of the parking lot at Kokomo High School and down U.S. 31 towards Conseco Fieldhouse.

A number of parents took their own cars in front of and behind the dribblers, who had a police escort during the entire journey south. Players had the ability to stop and rest every now and then on the estimated nine-hour trek, but one person must maintain dribbling the entire time.

"It's just a small sacrifice to support our team," said senior Brandon Scott, one of the twelve that made their way to Indianapolis by foot. "They deserve it. "

Preserving the tradition has become a point of pride for the seniors, who were doing so to honor the boys basketball team for the first time since 1997-when the team made the Final Four of the last single class basketball championship.

"I refuse to be in a class that get's rid of a tradition," said dribbler Patrick Perry. "We're proud to be here."