Derek Nesland is the founder and president of Courts for Kids. He was an Academic All-American and Hall of Fame basketball player at Portland State University. During and after college, he played basketball in 14 countries around the world where he saw the universality of sports, experienced the life changing effects of cross-cultural experiences, and observed the way that a simple concrete court could be a vital asset to a community. 

After a random email from the Philippines in 2006 expressing a need for a basketball court caught his attention and a group of Americans ready to volunteer joined him, Courts for Kids was born. In 2012, a Springfield College group joined with Courts for Kids and traveled to northern Uganda to build basketball courts at the Lira Integrated Schools, bringing a gift from the Birthplace of Basketball to a war torn region eager for safe community engagement and sport opportunities. To date, Courts for Kids has completed over 190 multi-use athletic court building projects in 30 countries.