BALTIMORE -- It's hot in the gymnasium of Paul Laurence Dunbar Community High School No. 414, hotter than it is outside. But Kevin Green wouldn't want to be practicing anyplace else.

He's playing one-on-one with a younger boy, laughing and smiling all the way. He absolutely loves playing basketball in this gym, loves what it means to him, loves what it means about him.

"When people find out you play for Dunbar, they're all awed and stuff," said Green, 18, who will be a senior this fall. "Everybody wants to play for Dunbar. Everybody says that if you can play for Dunbar, you can make the NBA."

Or at least get drafted by the NBA. Last Monday, Dunbar graduates Reggie Williams, Tyrone Bogues, Reggie Lewis and Gary Graham all were chosen by NBA teams. Williams, Bogues and Lewis are thought to have made history as the first trio of high school teammates to have been drafted in the first round.

That was impressive to someone like Kevin Green. He is a 6-foot-3 guard/forward who is being recruited by some college coaches and is going to a basketball camp later this summer so he can be seen by others. When Green looks up at Dunbar's national championship banner and sees the names Reginald Williams, Tyrone Bogues, Reginald Lewis, he sees stars.

When Randolph Thompson and Geraldine West look up at that banner, they too see stars, of another kind.

"The basketball, that's God-given and the work of Coach Wade {current Maryland Coach Bob}," said Thompson, an assistant principal. "But the rest of it, the ability to take college courses and graduate on time, that was up to them. And that's the real source of pride."

"Tuesday morning, everybody talked about it," said West, who became the basketball team's academic coordinator the year after Williams, Bogues and Lewis graduated from Dunbar. "They kept it at low tones, though. It was like you get so proud about something, but you hide your pride because you don't want anyone to know that you are gleaming inside to the point where you want to say, 'Look what I did!' "

The school has received numerous phone calls during the past week from reporters, almuni and other well-wishers. Thompson said it has all been rather hectic. But certainly no more so than the winter of 1982-83, when Williams, Bogues and Lewis were leading the Poets to a 31-0 record, the national championship and national attention.

"It was all very exciting," Thompson recalled. "But, oh, it was hard on me. People kept calling me up to get tickets. Also, my job was to keep order in the gym during the games."

No mean feat when you consider that every game Dunbar played at home that year was a sellout and, at the night games, Thompson always ended up turning people away at the door.

"The problem wasn't with the people in the gym, but rather with the people outside who couldn't get in once we closed the doors," Thompson recalled.

And there are other stories. Like the time Bogues started screaming at center Tim Dawson because he didn't think Dawson was hustling enough. And Wade just let him scream.

"Tyrone was the floor general and he wanted the guys on the team to respond to him," Wade said. "And he did light a fire under Timmy that time."

Wade said that although he thought Bogues would be a "mid- to late-second-round pick," he was glad Washington Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry had "the guts not to be skeptical" about Bogues because of his size.

"Nobody in the Dunbar community was skeptical about him," Wade said. "Now, when we went on the road, people had a tendency to laugh and snicker about his size when we first came on the court. But by the conclusion of the game, those same people who were laughing and snickering were always the first ones to ask for an autograph or if they could get a picture taken with him. He made believers out of a lot of people."

In Baltimore, there is talk of a parade to honor Bogues, Williams, Lewis and Graham. However, there is a guarantee of a ceremony at Dunbar this fall.

"We want to give the students a sense of pride and tell them that the opportunity is there. Therefore they should do the best they can so they, too, can be recognized for being great at whatever it is they do in life," West said.

And Kevin Green goes on pursuing his vision of greatness. And he's doing it with more pride and more purpose than he was last Sunday.

"I know now that if they can make it big," Green said, "I can make it big, too."