Derek is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Vancouver, Washington. He was an all-state high school basketball player at Evergreen High School and then went on to play at Portland State University from 1996-2000, where he was an Academic All-American as well as an inductee into the 2006 Hall of Fame Class.
During and after college, Derek played basketball in 14 countries around the world. It was those trips that planted the seed for Courts for Kids as he saw the universality of sports and how a simple concrete court could be such a vital asset to a community. He also saw a tremendous change in his own life through those cross-cultural experiences and developed a strong desire to take other Americans to share in similar experiences. After a random email from the Philippines in 2006 expressing a need for a basketball court and a group of Americans ready to volunteer, these two visions became a reality and Courts for Kids was born.
Selene Nesland- Marketing Director
Selene Nesland also grew up in Vancouver, Washington, and attended college at Seattle Pacific University. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade and also has her Masters of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Derek and Selene are married and have two sons, Channing and Bryton.
Steve Nantz- Northwest Regional Director
Steve grew up in a ‘military family’ that moved frequently, and has lived in several states and countries. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University and the University of Notre Dame, and worked as a teacher and journalist before spending several years working as a development officer with Mercy Corps, the Portland-Oregon based international humanitarian organization. He has often served as a volunteer coach, administrator, and official for local youth athletic organizations, and has two sons (Jakob and Joshua) and a daughter (Kate) who all play sports, one as a semi-professional basketball player in Shanghai, China. Having traveled, worked, and lived abroad, he has seen firsthand how sports can transform lives, enable positive change, and build bridges between diverse communities. He strongly believes that sports can build a better world, and is passionate about the mission of Courts for Kids.
Board of Directors
Sean Rybar Chairman
Kevin Ryan Treasurer
Brett Wilkerson Secretary
David Austen, CPA
Paul Van Gasse, M.E.
Steven Ellis, P.E.
Jeff Trautman, J.D.