SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) _ A popular deliveryman who funded his own basketball program in an effort to keep young men off the streets was fatally shot, allegedly by a man whose three nephews played on his team, police said.

Herman Bates Jr., 50, was killed in a dispute that began and ended in his front yard.

''He was like a father to a lot of kids in the community,'' said Jeff Prothro, the coach's nephew and a former player. ''He'd keep them off the streets, keep them from getting in trouble.''

The incident began when Bates and two of his three sons, Ronald and Rickie, walked outside their San Mateo home about 9:30 p.m. Monday to check some noise.

They found James and Jimmy Pryor, two brothers who had been noisily drinking in a car parked over the sidewalk and partly on Bates' lawn, said San Mateo police Sgt. Phil Derr.

When Bates and his two sons requested the men to leave, there was a pushing match between Rickie Bates and Jimmy Pryor, whose three sons had played at various times on a Herman Bates team, said Derr.

The Pryors lived in the neighborhood and there was no ''bad blood'' between the two families, Protho said.

The brothers left and returned within minutes with a .44-caliber Magnum rifle. James Pryor fired three shots, including one that hit Bates in the heart, said Derr.

Derr said the Bates brothers managed to get the rifle, and then beat up Jimmy Pryor. Derr said Jimmy Pryor was taken to Mills Memorial Hospital, where he told police that his 43-year-old brother, James, had fired the shots.

James Pryor was arraigned on murder charges Wednesday in San Mateo.

Bates started the basketball program eight years ago for his own sons and other teen-agers and young men, his nephew said.