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Mission Vista High School basketball coach Davion Famber suffers a heart attack while on vacation. Doctors told him he faces an “arduous recovery.” Courtesy photo
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Mission Vista basketball coach suffers heart attack

VISTA — A high school basketball coach who was named The Coast News Coach of the Year after winning a CIF Title in his first year is recovering after he recently suffered an apparent heart attack.

Davion Famber, the first year coach at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, collapsed July 16 outside of a hotel in Las Vegas, where he and his wife had spent their vacation.

Famber, 36, was in intensive care at Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas before he was stable enough to return to his home in San Diego.

He said that doctors told him he faces an arduous recovery.

“I feel good, but it will all come down to how I can manage the stress,” Famber said of returning to the sidelines. “I can’t get any technical fouls anymore, that’s for sure.”

Famber led Mission Vista to the CIF Division 4 title in March with a 67-55 win over top-seeded Brawley, the school’s first basketball championship.

The Timberwolves, which had won a combined 24 games in the four seasons before Famber’s arrival, won 16 games during the 2015-16 season, becoming one of the feel-good stories of the basketball season in the process.

Mission Vista Athletics Director Jim Hall credited Famber for bringing an energy not only to the basketball program, but to the school community.

Hall said Famber was influential in the creation of the school’s spirit club, the “Green Machine.”

“He has been a great hire for us,” Hall said. “Not only did we see great success on the court, he has meant just as much to the school. He has brought an energy to the campus.”

Hall said that the school is willing to wait for Famber to recover and return to the sideline.

“It hasn’t even crossed my mind that he won’t be returning,” Hall said.

Reached by phone, Famber thanked coaches, friends and families for their thoughts and prayers.

“The response and the outpouring of support was overwhelming,” said Famber, who said he received calls, texts and messages from people across the Western United States, including people he had never met. “Words can’t express how much the support means to me.”

Famber posted a brief video from his hospital bed on Twitter reiterating his thanks for the well wishes and support.

Famber said he wants to return to the sideline, but only if his health permits him to.

“I have to make sure my body can handle it, if it can’t, then I’ll accept that,” Famber said. “But I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder.”