A preliminary hearing for Kareem Savage - arrested earlier this month in the Sept. 11 drug-related shoot-out at a Mantua playground that killed a teen basketball player and the founder of a youth basketball league - was postponed yesterday after the defense attorney bowed out over a conflict of interests.

Savage, 20, of Brewerytown, is charged with murder in the incident at the McAlpin Playground at 36th and Aspen Streets that killed Darren Hankins, 19, and Miles Mack, 42. Mack founded the X-Tra Miles Development Basketball League to curb youth violence; he was killed attempting to shield a player from the bullets.

At a hearing yesterday before Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon, Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy said defense attorney Darryl A. Irwin withdrew because he lives near and knows the family of one of the victims. DeLeon set a status hearing for Tuesday for appointment of a new defense lawyer.

- Joseph A. Slobodzian