Washington is traditionally a basketball town, but summers are special. Professional players and college athletes come home and high school players are eager to show off their talents, making the city playgrounds alive with activity.

Most players are involved in one of four District leagues.

The Jelleff Boys Club League has provided premier high school competition for more than 20 years. Now, many of the top area teams compete at Sidwell Friends.

At Jelleff, the boys play on Mondays and Thursdays and the girls on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. League play is underway and the playoffs will start July 29. The championship games will be played at 6:30 and 8:30 Aug. 2.

Participating teams will include DeMatha, Mackin, Cardozo, McKinley Tech, Blair, Anacostia, McLean, Maret, Lake Braddock, H.D. Woodson, Sidwell Friends, O'Connell, Potomac, Carlton's All-Stars, Spingarn, Wilson, Woodward, Oakton, West Potomac and Takoma Academy.

Players to watch are Anthony Tucker, a 6-foot 7-inch center from McKinley Tech, and Steve Hood, a 6-foot-6 forward from DeMatha.

The East Division of the Friends League will consist of Bishop Ireton, DeMatha, Eastern, Spingarn, Sidwell Friends, Maret, Lee and McKinley Tech. The West will include Roosevelt, W.T. Woodson, St. John's, Flint Hill, Gonzaga, Coolidge, Good Counsel and Dunbar.

Top players include 6-9, 270-pound Robert Pollard of Bishop Ireton, who scored 25 points and rebounded well in a 63-55 loss to DeMatha in a recent league game; all-Mets Mark Tillmon from Gonzaga, Hood and 6-6 forward Dennis Scott from Flint Hill.

The top area college players will compete in the Kenner League at Georgetown's McDonough Gymnasium.

The Kenner League will play on weekends.

through Aug.

The Urban Coalition is the summer pro league with games at Dunbar High School starting in July.