There was no slow motion instant replay. No stop action. But everyone at Rose Park, at the foot of Georgetown, knew the game was over.

It could have been at Kelly Miller playground, Turkey Thicket - or for that matter at any asphalt basketball court in town - because basketball fever rages in Washington during the summer.

At Rose Park, on this recent broiling summer afternoon, only one basket in the 32-point game separated the winners from the losers.

A player cut to the left then faked to the right - and squeaked to a sudden stop - sending his off-balanced opponent into the sidelines, evoking a "Whoooh" from spectators.

With basketball in hand, and a gleam in his eye, the basketballer leaped into the air - pointed the orange missile toward its 10-foot goal - and fired.

Swoosh! The ball plummeted through the hoop ending the game.

In this national champion basketball town - home of Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, John Thompson, Austin Carr and Adrian Dantley - sweaty dreams are often spun at the end of 10-foot jumpers.

The summer dream of "having a good day on the court" or preparing for a future of basketball fame and fortune - like D.C.'s 15-year-old Gilbert Williams - brings an eager army of hoopsters to the District's asphalt arenas.

It is here on the neighborhood courts, at almost any time of day in almost any type of weather, that fantasies are played out and egos are burned by quick fakes and slam dunks.

It is here where you income, race - or anything else of that matter - are all secondary - where the main concern is how well you go to the hoop.

THe uniform of the day is anything you have on - custom-made warm-ups or plain T-shirts and old "Chuck Taylors."

D.C.'s outdoor courts - where distant street lights in many cases provide the only illuminiation after dark - are the hotbed of competition for many of those who could not afford the steep prices of last winter's memberships in private indoor basketball courts.

It is here in Washington, either in the organized leagues or the haphazard neighborhood pick-up games, where pent up enthusiasm is finally played out.

Heat was steaming from the surface of the Fort Stevens playground at 13th and Van Buren streets in upper northwest Washington, but it seemed to have no effect on lanky, 20-year-old Dwight Ellion's jump shot as he warmed up for the next game.

Ellion, who said he plays left field for the University of the District of Columbia baseball team, summed up the competition at Fort Stevens saying: "These basketball players are mostly neighborhood kids and the competition here just isn't that great. . . . But I usually have a good time."

As Ellion Spoke, teams were being chosen and the game soon began.

It didn't take long before the friendly neighborhood game turned into a basketball war. As players raced up and down the court - often tossing the ball toward the elevated hoop, and often missing - there were no smiles - only grunts, sweat and swinging elbows.

A foul was called. There was a quick response. "You take it, you - !"

The game proceeded. The score was close. Tempers flared between two forwards.

"Push me again and I'll bust you in the head!" challenged a slim, medium-built basketballer whose eyebrows furrowed as he leaned into a face-to-face encounter.

His stockily built opponent replied, "Me and you gonna push for the rest of the evening, punk!"

As they argued, a ball was shot like a bullet from 20 feet outside the key.


The two teams raced down court again, the ball bounced off a man's shoulder and out of bounds.

"Our ball. He knocked it out!" a player shouted.

For nearly five minutes the players screamed and argued over who had knocked the ball out of bounds. They finally agreed on whose team would control the ball.

The pace of the game soon picked up again.

"What do you think I'm doing, running formy health! You aren't passing the ball!" shouted one temmate after another plucked down a rebound from one end of the court and raced to the other end only ot miss with an awkwardly thrown garbage shot.

Another player shouted, "This ain't no game man! . . . This is one-on-one. . . . There ain't no bleep - ing defense!"

Meanwhile, the two forwards - who continued to push each other and squabble - finally forced the game to an abrupt time-out.

"What you grab me for!"

"Is this what you want?" fired back the smaller player as he leaped around the court in a boxer's stance.

As they were separated, one of the players yelled, "This is between them!"

Another player shot back, "What are you talking about, sucker? This don't make no sense, it ain't going to changes - ."

Still another player, incensed by the whole incident yelled across the court, "All of you can line up and kiss my a - !"

A few moments later, the winning shot of the game was thrown and the court slowly cleared.

Dwight Ellion, who had steered clear of the arguments, wiped sweat from his brow and said, "See what I told you . . . This is just a neighborhood game, good players wouldn't have all of this arguing."

On the sidelines at Fort Stevens another battle of sorts was taking place.

Players waiting their turn at center court, were squabbling - as basketball players do at most courts in town - over who had the next game.

The dispute began as the center-court game was about half over. An eager basketballplayer, who had just arrived, asked the simple question: "Whose got next?"

Simultaneously two voices responded, "I got next, man."

Patrick Simms, a 13-year-old who attends MacFarland Junior High Schoool, immediately discovered he was on the short end of the deal.

Across the court 22-year-old Michael Chisholm yelled to him, "Listen, shorty, I called next!"

And then to rub it in, Chisholm added, "How are we going to settle this? Guns, Knives, or shooting dice?"

When the next game began, the 22-year-old - who said he is currently unemployed and looking for a job - walked on the court and Patrick Simms quietly disappeared from courtside.

"Give the ball to me!" shouted 4-year-old Larry Strong, of the District. He begged other basketball players warming up on a side court at Candy Cane playground, in Rock Creek Park, to hand him the ball.

On a nearby court, Larry's father - who wore a red D.C. fire department T-shirt - faked one way and spun for a pass before he made a jumpshot.

Meanwhile, little Larry bounced the ball once, spun around, jumped three times before he threw the ball toward the 10-foot hoop.

After every miss he would shout, "Give the ball to me!"

The basketball players would hand the 4-year-old the ball and tell him, "You're supposed to get your own rebounds."

Finally, Larry got so frustrated at his misses that he begged one of the players to lift him near the rim so he would have a better chance to make a shot.

As Larry's feet dangled in the air, he told his assistant, "There, this just might do."

He threw the ball toward the nearby hoop and the ball popped through the net.

Larry screamed, "I told you I could do it."

The shadows were getting long in the late afternoon at East Capitol Recreation Center as players raced up and down the court.

The longest shadow, however, was not playing on the court - but extending from the sidelines. It was the shadow of Kenneth Stancell, a 19-year-old, 6-foot-9-inch ballplayer, who was the "secret" weapon for his friends who lived in the northeast neighborhood where he is staying this summer.

He said his friends asked him to come out and play for them as their "surprise" against the teams in the East Capitol Recreation Center tournament.

And what a surprise he was in the last game he said his opponents "didn't know what to do when I came on the court." He said his opponents were able to tie the game until half time when "we decided to start playing ball."

In the first seven minutes Stancell's team created a 30-point margin and "the game was no fun any longer," said Stancell.

Stancell, who will be a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond this year, said he also plays in the Urban Coalition League at Gonzaga High School.

"I like playing in this neighborhood league (East Capitol). The competition is good and they give me a great workout," added Stancell.

Wayne Lockett, the recreation leader at East Capitol Recreation Center, said the lack of space at the center playground prompted the idea for the tournament.

"If we run tournaments, more people get a chance to play." he added.

At Georgetown University's outdoor courts, 29-year-old Charles Hackley and his friend 31-year-old Percy James, who both work for the American Meat Institute, were flipping passes behind their backs and shooting 15-foot jumpers during one of the summer's blazing afternoons.

With perspiration pouring off his forehead and drenching his T-shirt, Hackley said, "This is the best game there is for getting in shape. This is the second time this year I've come out and I'ved held my own.

At Banneker Recreation Center, across the street from Howard University, Gilbert L. Williams, a 15-year-old self - proclaimed "basketball nut" leaned against a fence as a full-court game was in progress.

Yeah, I plan to be a superstar. If it isn't in basketball, then it will be foot-ball.

"I think I can make it. All it takes is ability and I've got plenty of that," said Williams, who comes from a nearby north west neighborhood.

According to Williams, he thought about being an engineer, "but I figured it would be too boring and too much work."

He said he believe he can "keep enough money in my bank account so if I get injured as professional player I'll still be all right."

Another Washington basketballer, who has already made it to stardom, walked into Gonzaga's Gymnasium for the Urban Coalition's basketball summer tournament recently and quickly caught the stares of excited fans.

With his canary-yellow warm-ups, his gold necklace, and his expensive blue Nike tennis shoes, there was no question that Adrian Dantley, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers - was somebody.

And on the court, with his team - "Pappy Parker's" - he gave a show that fans were looking for. He strutted like a proud bull. He raced down the court like a panther and pulled up at 20 feet with razzle and dazzle that forced "oohhs" and "aahhs" from the cheering crowd. Adrian Dantley - homeboy-made-good - had come back, and the crowd loved it.

"Hey A.D. are you going to stuff it? I've got a bet with a friend," yelled one spectator.

A.D. are you gonna pass today or are you gonna take it to 'em yourself?" screamed another.

Adrian Dantley - who once played for DeMatha High School - quickly responded. He raced down court, wheeled to the left, then to the right and pulled up with a bankshot that spun into the net.