West Virginia University Athletics, 4-H Youth Development and academic programs are teaming up this weekend to get 4-H members and their parents interested in not only the WVU basketball teams, but the Universitys educational opportunities as well.

Elementary, middle and high school students from around the state will gather in Morgantown for WVU 4 -H Basketball Days. More than 220 4-Hers and parents will cheer on the WVU womens team when DePaul University comes to the Coliseum Saturday (Feb. 16). On Sunday (Feb. 17), the delegation will include 400 4-H members when the mens team plays Seton Hall University.

Before attending the game, the families will see a different kind of gold and blue: academic opportunities at WVU .

The main purpose of the WVU 4 -H Basketball Days is to bring kids and families onto campus to start thinking about the possibility of higher education,said Jeff Orndorff, WVU Extension specialist in 4-H Youth Development.

Each year, Orndorff arranges for representatives of a college to speak with students for about an hour. This year, the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences will be the focus. Representatives will be available to answer questions about the colleges 21 undergraduate majors and about WVU as a whole.

We really try to design an educational program for that day for each group that attends,Orndorff said.Along with bringing in a certain school or college, we also offer tours of the WVU Student Recreation Center, which is entertaining for kids of any age.

A separate segment is designed just for parents. A representative from the WVU Financial Aid Office will meet with parents to discuss how to finance a college education, and the Mountaineer Parents Club will be on hand to answer questions about WVU and the benefits of belonging to the organization.

We want students and families who would have otherwise never thought of college as a possibility to start thinking of it as within their reach,Orndorff said.

For more information about the 4-H Youth Development Program, visit www.ext.wvu.edu or contact a WVU Extension Service county office.