Springfield College welcomed Courts for Kids President, Derek Nesland, to the campus on Jan. 28, 2020, in the Fuller Arts Center.
Nesland’s presentation entitled, “Who Says There’s No Traveling in Basketball? Community Development Through Court Building Around the Globe,” highlighted the service to humanity mission provided by Courts for Kids, a non-profit 501c3 organization that helps build multi-sport courts in economically disadvantaged areas throughout the world.
Nesland’s presentation was part of the 2019-20 “Humanics Triathlon” project led by Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics, Judy L. Van Raalte.
Following an impressive high school and collegiate basketball career, including being named an Academic All-American at Portland State University,
Nesland played professional basketball in 14 countries around the world. After a random email from the Philippines expressing a need for a basketball court caught his attention, Nesland gathered a group of volunteers and Courts for Kids was born.
In January of 2012, a group of Springfield College students, led by Van Raalte, joined Courts for Kids and traveled to northern Uganda to build basketball courts at Lira Integrated Schools. To date, Courts for Kids has completed more than 190 multi-use athletic court building projects in 30 countries, partnering with more than 3,000 participants in the United States.
Since 1967, Springfield College annually has appointed a Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics to continue the preservation of Springfield College's guiding philosophy and to examine its implications of pedagogy, curriculum, management, recruitment, campus life, and community impact.
Springfield College is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution founded in 1885. Approximately 4,100 students, including 2,500 full-time undergraduate students, study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its regional campuses across the country. Springfield College inspires students through the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy – educating in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.