RVC coach Opat balances life on and off court - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

RVC coach Opat balances life on and off court

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

When she's not coaching Rock Valley's women's basketball team, Misty Opat is home raising four kids - her three nieces and her newly adopted son, Davion.

The adoption process was a long one. Opat says it took about three years.

She met Davion through her assistant coach Cierra Morris, who's from Chicago, like Davion. Davion was in a rough family situation, so Opat ended up taking care of him.

Through some trials and tribulations, Opat never gave up on trying to raise Davion. He ended up back in Chicago living with is aunt, who Opat calls an amazing woman. They agreed to let Opat become a part of his life. And then the big day happened.

"September 21, 2015, is when I got him full time as a foster child, technically," Opat said. "Knowing that it was with the intent to adopt. The adoption finally became final Dec. 22, and it's amazing."

Davion enters a tight-knit family. Opat has raised her three nieces as her own daughters for the past 15 years. She gave up an NCAA Division I coaching career to raise them. Now they're Davion's big sisters. But they're not his only sisters.

"We're kind of all just a big family," RVC freshman guard Madi Hecox said. "We play with him on the sidelines, play with him on the court. He runs around at practice. He's like a little brother to us."

Opat loves when Davion calls her, "Mama." She thinks he might follow in her footsteps as a coach. Just having him around has helped put life in perspective.

"You can have a tough day and go home and he smiles and it's amazing how much outside of what we do here in the daily rat race, that a four year old can change you," Opat said.

And she wouldn't change any of it.

"It's been an amazing ride with all of them," Opat said.

Davion and the girls hope to have a lot to cheer about this weekend, as Rock Valley competes in the NJCAA DIII National Tournament. Rock Valley plays in the national semifinals Friday night against Northland at 6 p.m.

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