Since age 5, Marcus Wiggins has spent most of his summer weekends sweeping floors, selling refreshments and running the scoreboard clock in the Urban Coalition basketball league.

The league was started 20 years ago by his grandfather, Jim Wiggins, who says his intent was to provide the local community with "summer showtime and excitement."

Through four site changes, including the last 10 years which have been spent at Dunbar High School, Wiggins's league mixing top amateur and professional players has lived up to its original aims.

Marcus Wiggins wasn't born in the summer of 1971 when former ABA and Philadelphia 76ers great Julius Erving, along with George (The Iceman) Gervin, played during the first season. As he grew older, he dreamed of playing in the area's oldest basketball league.

Two weeks ago, Wiggins's dream became reality.

"I was scared enough by it being my first game and then I have to check {Phoenix Suns reserve guard} Mike Morrison the whole fourth quarter," recalls Wiggins, who played at Newport Prep High School and hopes to play as a freshman at Drexel University in the fall. "He had 64 points, but he didn't have them all on me. He only scored seven on me because I kept count. But that took a lot of pressure off because now I can say that I've played against the best."

Others have quivered before entering their first Urban Coalition game.

Jim Wiggins recalls the day David Robinson showed up for his first Urban Coalition game.

"He was kind of scared," said Jim Wiggins. "He looked out onto the floor and saw all those Washington Bullets players warming up and he went and hid his shoes in the trunk of his car. I was so mad at him, but I guess he needed 24 hours to kind of psyche himself up because he came back into the gym the next day and tore them up."

Pro and college players have been the main draw for fans who often fill the gymnasium on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but Wiggins wanted to help develop younger players as well as entertain. Often that means matching them up against players that make their living playing basketball.

"We've always been interested in developing guys like a Sherman Douglass or like an Adrian Dantley," said Jim Wiggins.

In keeping with its goal of entertaining, the Urban Coalition League has bendable rules. When a college or professional name player showed up to the gymnasium, there would always be a uniform ready, regardless of what teams were playing.

Aside from the summer basketball competition on the court, in the last few years, there has also been competition with other summer leagues such as the Kenner College League at Georgetown University and the Say No To Drugs League at H.D. Woodson High School. All look to put the best players on their teams. All have succeeded, although the Urban Coalition League has weathered the challenge well.

"It's good for the city that we have other leagues and we support them, but the Urban Coalition sets the precedence for summer basketball in the area," said Melchior (Preach) George, who coaches the Coalition's Budweiser All-Stars. "Every league has its place, but we just want it to be known that we are the best. Whenever the pros come to town, they come to the Coalition because they know that they are going to play and that they will start. They entertain and then they leave. . . . Everybody wants to be where the best competition is."

Julius Wyatt has been coming to Coalition games since the league began at Theodore Roosevelt High. He followed it in moves to Gonzaga, Spingarn and Dunbar.

Wyatt has seen local stars get their joy scoring over Dantley. He's seen the the backboard nearly come down from dunks by Moses Malone.

"It's been a wonderful experience watching the Coalition games every year," said Wyatt. "I've seen all the stars play here because I've seen all the games. This league has changed so much because it use to be the only league in town . . . But I think that people know of this league anywhere you go in the United States."