Ever thought about what your wildest fantasy would be? How about climbing Mt. Everest? How about winning the Florida Lottery, or how about living a life of luxury on a cruise ship as it sails to the world's most exotic ports of call with an unlimited supply of money?

Certainly the list of fantasies could go on and on and while most of these fantasies are out of reach of the average Utahn, there's one fantasy that everyone can not only dream about but also experience in a very real way.This fantasy involves the big-time stakes of professional basketball and puts each participant in the unique position of selecting his or her own NBA "dream team" with the chance of winning a share of nearly $20,000 in prizes by playing Fantasy Basketball sponsored by the Deseret News.

This is the second year of Fantasy Basketball sponsored by the Salt Lake newspapers. Last year, nearly 15,000 fans followed closely the exploits of their dream team each week through the tough NBA season of injuries, slumps, highs and lows.

The contest is open to anyone 18 years of age or older except for those individuals who are disqualified as indicated in the official rules. The contest rules and entry form will appear in all editions of the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune on each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday up to October 31. Entries are due by November 1. They may be hand delivered to either newspaper or most 7-11 stores.

Contest officials are hoping for an estimated 20,000 players this year as the momentum and excitement builds for the start of the NBA season in November.

Basically, the contest works as follows. SportsMark, Inc. of Canada, the game originator, uses a sophisticated computer program that tracks the exploits statistically of 72 NBA players.

Contestants have the option of selecting their own 12-man team from a list of 12 "cells" of similar players. The selection is based upon how they think each player will fare throughout the season.

Selections should be based on which player the contestant believes, based on his best judgment and the mounds of statistical information available, will lead his group in the combined total of points, rebounds and assists over the course of the entire season.

As each contestant selects their dream team, SportsMark will enter their name and team into the computer program. As each week's slate of games are completed and statistics compiled for each of the 72 eligible players, each contestant's status is updated and published in the Saturday editions of the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune.

Four weekly prizes will be awarded including a $100 grocery shopping spree for the top-ranking contestant of the week. Three $50 grocery shopping sprees will be awarded to top weekly contestants for the most points, the most cumulative points and the most rebounds.

The grand prize, awarded to the contestant at the end of the regular NBA season with highest number of Fantasy Basketball points will be awarded a $5,000 dream vacation. Second and third place dream vacations of $2,000 and $1,000 will be awarded to the second and third place winners.

The contest is open only to bona fide residents of the State of Utah and other restrictions may apply, so see the official Fantasy Basketball Rules for information.

Play Fantasy Basketball with the Deseret News this year to experience the ultimate fantasy and win valuable prizes. Questions may be directed to the Newspaper Agency Corporation Circulation Promotion Department at 237-2976.