Staff & Board

Our Team

Staff

Nick Sharpe

Executive Director

Nick fell in love with the game of basketball playing in his driveway as a youth in rural Nova Scotia. Since then, he has valued the impact that sport and recreation can have on all of us. An alumni of Mount Saint Vincent University’s Business Administration in Marketing program, Nick has dedicated his career to community development.

From 2013 to 2018, Nick held the position of Director of Events and Partnerships with the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC). During this time, Nick’s focus was to establish the Truro and Colchester area as a major destination in sports and entertainment. He was successful in doing so, often leading in securing and overseeing some of Atlantic Canada’s largest events. In recent years, Nick instructed the Recreation Marketing Course at the NSCC Truro Campus.

Nick left his role at the RECC to follow another passion in Big Brothers Big Sisters, leading the growth of the Colchester agency while sitting on the National Strategy and Vision Committee, helping to shape the future of Big Brothers Big Sisters across Canada. Nick joined Big Brothers Big Sisters to ensure that all young people can grow up to reach their potential, and he is now turning his focus to ensuring that all have opportunities to play the game of basketball.

Nick is committed to living into Basketball Nova Scotia’s vision of reaching our basketball potential in all communities across the province.

(photo credit: Terrel Beals www.terreldanielphotography.com)

Colter Simmonds

Technical Director

Colter is a long-time coach, mentor, and community leader. The founder of We Will Win Youth Association and CEO of OnDaRise Sports and Entertainment, he has been heavily involved in coaching around the province for many years.

From coordinating and directing camps and youth programs, Colter has an impressive coaching resume. He has directed camps for NBA and WNBA athletes, and coached at all levels in Nova Scotia, including NBL Canada. He has earned two Nova Scotia high school provincial championships and won a national gold medal as an assistant coach with Basketball Nova Scotia’s Provincial Team at Canada Basketball Nationals.

A graduate of Nova Scotia Community College, Colter is met with big smiles, hugs, and fist bumps by athletes in the basketball community wherever he goes. He represents North Preston and Nova Scotia with pride.

(photo credit: Terrel Beals www.terreldanielphotography.com)

Emma Duinker

Operations Manager

As a young athlete, and now as a coach and mentor, Emma has used basketball as a medium for self discovery and leadership development. Emma’s passion for basketball continued through her time at Acadia University. During her university career, Emma earned Academic All-Canadian status, 2nd team all Canadian and won a conference title.

Following her university career, Emma played professionally in Germany for three years, winning two league championships. Emma’s basketball journey is not without struggles, so she uses her experiences to inspire and motivate those she works with.

After Emma’s playing career, she attended the University of Windsor, where she graduated with her Masters in Sport Management. She began as an assistant coach with the University and served one year as the interim head coach.

Until recently, Emma worked in a number of different roles with PGC Basketball whose mission is to “be a light in the basketball world.” Her love for the game of basketball and passion for working with athletes and coaches, has been magnified by her work with PGC. Emma uses her experience from her playing career, player development background and coaching to develop the game of basketball with passion and energy.

(photo credit: Terrel Beals www.terreldanielphotography.com)

Kaisen MacKinnon

Basketball Events Coordinator

basketballnsintern@gmail.ca

902-425-5450 ext. 348

Kaisen is currently in her final year of the Sport Management Program at Niagara College, Ontario. She has represented Team Nova Scotia on various occasions and has competed at two Canada Basketball National Championships. She attended Acadia for two years where they won two back-to-back AUS Championships before moving to Ontario where she also played. 

Kaisen prides herself in her community and developing the younger generation. 


Board

Chris McPhee

President

Chris has been a long time BNS board member since 2013 and has made valuable contributions throughout his time. Chris lives in Cape Breton with his wife and three children. When Chris isn’t coaching in the gym, he loves to travel!

Chris has coached a wide range of athletes from grades primary to grade 12, boys and girls and has enjoyed coaching them all.

Chris began his coaching career to be involved with his children, but continues to coach because he’s passionate about helping athletes who need support.

Matt Honsberger

Vice President

Matt has been involved in organized basketball for over 35 years, starting as a player in Burlington Ontario through the end of high school. As his high school playing career was ending, his coaching career began, and quickly took off at Westfalen high school in Hamilton as a coach of the Ontario AAA champion Girls high school team. The team featured three players who played on scholarships at American schools, one of whom went on to play in the WNBA and was a mainstay on the Canadian National team for years.   

Since moving to Nova Scotia, Matt has coached at both the club level (with the St. Margaret’s Bay SLAM), as well as at the provincial level with the U15 development team in 2008. 

Matt is the father of 3 Kids, Jamie, Poppy, and Brady.  He is the leader at Royal LePage Atlantic, and has sat on a number of other boards over the course of his career.

When thinking about how Basketball has affected his life, it’s been in a couple of different ways.  First and foremost, it’s given Matt a wonderful network of people that he considers friends and even family in some cases.  Over and above the people, it’s also instilled a number of core values – Teamwork, achievement, positivity and an overarching “Help First” mentality, that serves both him and his business in a positive way each and every day.

Shawn McNutt

Director of Finance

Sandy MacIntosh

Secretary

Sandy is currently the Manager of Club Licensing with Canada Basketball and is overseeing the development and implementation of a new Club Licensing system for all basketball clubs in the country. He has been involved in coaching at the youth, high school, university, and national levels, including four years serving as the Head Coach of the Canadian Military Basketball Team.

While not currently coaching, Sandy is excited to continue to be involved in basketball, serving on the BNS Board to give back and help foster the growth of the game in our province.

Jessica Quillan

Executive Member at Large

Jessica was elected to BNS board of directors in the fall of 2020 as a member at large. Making her presence known immediately, she stepped up to assist the executive team with hiring the Executive and Technical Director along with the Operations Manager. In her current role, Jessica’s goal is to continue improving the basketball experience within our Province.

With over 15 years dedicated to minor basketball as a coach, coaching coordinator, mentor and board member, Jessica brings passion and a readiness to assist in any capacity with Basketball Nova Scotia.

Jessica also divides her time coaching and teaching life skills through basketball with her son Amare’s Jr Hi team and U14 team, her daughter Alexa’s U12 team, and the Prince Andrew High Panthers girls team. Jessica will also participate on the board as a volunteer, for the women’s basketball league (MWBA) in it’s inaugural season.

On weekends you may see Jessica court surfing taking in as many games as she can. If you see her, stop and say hello!

“Seeing people, especially children come together for the love of basketball,  putting differences aside, and not worrying about race, gender, sexual orientation or ability is what makes this sport so wonderful to be a part of.”

Sarah MacEachern-Wilson

Executive Member at Large

First and foremost, Sarah is a wife, and mother to a 3 year old little girl, Briar. She is a CPA/CA with 11 years experience in both public practice and industry, and is currently the Manager, Corporate Accounting for a publicly traded company in Halifax. Sarah has also been involved in various fundraising activities throughout her career and was more recently Chair of a hospital fundraising committee to raise funds for priority medical equipment.

Growing up in Cape Breton Sarah played basketball throughout school at various levels, and also developed a basketball program for younger children to be introduced to the game. After moving to Halifax, Sarah was an assistant coach of junior girls basketball and also participated in the MELBA league as a player. She has also enjoyed supporting local talent through consistently attending the AUS and CIS championships when held in Halifax.

Sarah looks forward to supporting Basketball Nova Scotia in developing and promoting the game throughout our province.

“The lessons the game can teach you go far beyond the court. I truly believe once your playing career may be done, the teamwork, drive and competitiveness you use while paying basketball, if applied to what you want to do in life, you will always be successful.”

Paul Hanson

NSBO Representative

Paul has extensive experience in the basketball world. He was as an athlete, throughout high school and in college and has refereed since the mid ’90s. Paul’s reffing career extends over 20 years, as he’s been involved at all levels, including as a current member of the University/College Panel.

Paul has held a number of leadership roles as a referee, on the Nova Scotia Basketball Official’s Executive for over 20 years, as a referee in the gold medal games for men’s USports competition, as well as in the Canada Games finals.

Paul’s impact as a referee has not gone unnoticed. He won BNS “Official of the Year” in both 2014 and 2017.

Currently, along with refereeing, Paul is actively involved in training and mentoring new officials in the Halifax area.

We’re glad to have Paul as a part of the board going into his 6th year representing the NSBO!

Cher Smith

Wheelchair Basketball Representative

Chris Lerette

Metro Basketball Association (MBA) Representative

Darren Jacklin

South Shore Regional Representative

Darren started coaching basketball in 2008 after spending several years coaching minor baseball and youth soccer. His coaching career began in the Steve Nash Youth basketball program, the Hillcrest Academy elementary school lunch time basketball program and the Hillcrest Academy afterschool basketball program. Darren is a coach for multiple sports, also coaching with Shelburne Minor baseball for 10 years. 

Darren has been a leader in his community as he has assisted in creating new youth clubs in soccer and baseball. 

Darren continued his coaching career at Shelburne Regional High School in 2012. There, his teams won three Shelburne/Yarmouth District banners along with a Western Region banner. During this time, Darren founded the Clearwater Hustlers rep basketball program which won three BNS provincial championships in four years in D1 and D2 along with a provincial silver in AAA. After changing the club name to The Shelburne County Kings, they won another D1 BNS Provincial Title in 2018. The club started with one team and has expanded to multiple teams in the u18, u16 and u14 age groups. 

In 2018, Darren started coaching the Sr. SRHS basketball team that won three Western Region Championships and went undefeated in league play for three straight years. In 2019 -2020 Darren expanded his coaching capacity and coached both Jr and Sr basketball, with his teams winning Western Region championship banners in both divisions. 

Along with his basketball endeavors, Darren is currently coaching Sr. Girls Soccer.  Darren was chosen as a head facilitator for the BNS Jr/Sr Male/Female Academies in 2018 and 2019.

Independent from his multiple coaching roles, in 2018, Darren began a basketball training business called “DJs game skills basketball training” He currently travels throughout Shelburne County doing individual and small group training sessions.  

Lastly, Darren holds positions on the SRHS SAC and BNS Board of Directors as the South Shore regional representative.

“If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it.”

Michael Jordan

Jeff Starratt

Valley Regional Representative

Jeff has been actively involved in basketball for the past 26 years including club, high school, university and provincially. He has been a tremendous resource for clubs, coaches and parents in the Valley. Jeff has been the Kings Hants Basketball Coordinator for the past 15 years and has spent more than a decade being a valued board member for Basketball Nova Scotia.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

Jen Lloyd McKenzie

Metro Regional Representative

Jen McKenzie is an Elementary Physical Education Specialist, Treasurer of TAPHE (Teachers Association of Physical and Health Educators), a FIBA level 4 official and a FIBA liscensed table official.

She grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia and enjoyed playing sports from a very early age. As the first female to play minor hockey in Nova Scotia, Jen helped set the tone for females to participate in and enjoy a male dominated sport in Nova Scotia.

Basketball became Jen’s calling, and allowed her to attend Acadia University and earn a Bachelor of Physical Education in 1991. During this time, she played varsity basketball, club hockey, volunteered with the Acadia S.M.I.L.E program and was an Academic All Canadian. After University, Jen travelled to Belgium and Australia, teaching and playing professional basketball.

Jen has coached basketball at all levels from Bantam to High School, and helped guide Nova Scotia to its 2nd medal ever at Canada Games in 2006. Through coaching, Jen was introduced to officiating, and with some coaxing from the very same referees who worked her games as a player and coach, she quickly moved through the ranks and is currently in her 14th year of officiating, working u10 games (soooo cute and fun) to CCAA and USport men and women, and is one of 3 women to be hired to officiate in the NBL, MWBA and ECBL; 3 Canadian Pro basketball leagues.

Jen is an active member of Nova Scotia Basketball Officials, serving as chair of awards committee, recruitment and retention committee, discipline committee and facilitates the new officials clinic each fall.

Jen is Basketball Nova Scotia’s Metro Rep, and serves on the officials and technical committees.

Paul MacIsaac

Fundy Regional Representative

Paul first got involved with basketball in the Colchester area in 2009 as a volunteer coach for his children’s mini teams. In 2013 he was named the club president of the newly formed Colchester Basketball Association and has held that position, while coaching skill development in the Tiger Ballers program for beginner players. A recreational Teen League, Wheelchair Basketball, Multi-sport and re Sport ‘Hoop Strong’ have been important projects to Paul that increase access and inclusion to basketball. In 2018-2019 he was an assistant coach for his daughter’s CEC varsity basketball team.

Paul first started playing the game as a 6-year-old in Antigonish and played high-school basketball at Dr. J.H. Gillis. He is now a Level 2 basketball official with 10 years experience.  Paul lives in Greenfield, Colchester County with his wife and 2 children while working at the Agriculture Campus of Dalhousie University.

“Basketball is a game of speed, skill and grace. You fall in love with it from the first time the ball goes through the hoop.  I want to share that passion for this great game with the next generation and let them find their love for the game too.”

Greg Callaghan

Cape Breton Regional Representative

Greg was born in Sydney, Cape Breton and lives there with his wife Mary, and three sons, Ryan, Jason, and Adam. He is a teacher and
Science Department Head at Sydney Academy. Basketball has been and continues to be a big part of Greg’s life.

Greg played multiple sports growing up including basketball during his public school years. He played football in university at St.F.X and 10 years of Senior baseball.

After graduating from university, Greg came home and stumbled immediately into coaching basketball and did so for 25 years. He describes it as stumbling, because he offered to coach whatever was needed at his old high school (Sydney Academy) and there happened to be a need for a Girls Basketball coach. That started a very rewarding 13 year stint that included a Div.1 Provincial title in 2003; The first Provincial basketball title at the school since 1968 and the last Div.1 basketball banner won by a Cape Breton school. During those years, Greg was part of starting the local Elementary School Basketball League as well as having one of the first “Small Ball” groups in the local area.

With his boys coming of age and starting to play, Greg left high school Basketball and began
coaching at their elementary school. At around that time, he was a part of a group of local
enthusiasts that began initial discussions around what eventually became Basketball Cape
Breton. They officially started as an organization in the winter of 2012, are in their 10th year
of existence and Greg has been on the Board of Directors from the beginning.

Greg coached at both the U12 and U14 levels with BCB and had the pleasure of coaching his boys until he hung up his coaching whistle in 2016. Greg still needed a whistle however because he was a few years into his
involvement with NSBO as a basketball official. He is presently in his 12th year refereeing.

Beside refereeing, Greg is still in gyms watching basketball as his two youngest boys are presently playing at the University and College levels.

The game has been good to Greg and his family, and he looks forward to helping other families get the most out of this sport.

“Basketball has been and continues to be a huge part of my life. This sport has been good to me. I want to continue to do my best to make sure that the next generation of families get the same joy and fulfillment that our family has experienced.”

Tony Hessian

Highland Regional Representative

Tony has been involved in basketball for 30 years. He began as a player and moved on to coaching at the age of 17. He has been coaching at North Nova Education Center for the past 2 seasons, as well as Pictou County Lightning for the last 7 years. Tony is also an official with NSBO and the President of Pictou County Lightning. 

Tony has been married for 19 years with 2 children who are now grown. One of his children is following in Tony’s footsteps as they head into the coaching world.

” Basketball is not just a sport , but a life style” It is important to me that we develop young players so that this sort only grows bigger and stronger.”

Chris Holland

Board Member at Large

Chris has been involved in the game of basketball in Nova Scotia for most of his life. He started out on the playgrounds in Sydney with friends, and then played school basketball at MacLennan Jr high and Riverview Rural High School. In fact Chris still plays in Halifax’s grand masters league. In high school, Chris began to referee the game where he quickly became a top local official and officiated his first AUS game at the age of 21; this grew his love for the game at an elite level.

It was when his kids, Christian and Meckenzie, began to play at the mini level that Chris started to coach with Sackville Storm. After a few years, some fellow coaches recommended Chris to Basketball Nova Scotia to coach their development programs.

Over the next 10 years, Chris was privileged to be the head coach for the 2014 Bronze medal winning U15 boys team, the 2016 Gold medal winning U15 boys team and then the 2018 Gold medal winning U17 men’s team. Chris was honored with the Support4Sport Basketball Coach of the Year award in 2019 for his accomplishments.

Chris gives credit to the many coaches over the year’s that helped inspire and influence him to be the coach he developed into, especially Ron MacNeil, his Jr High coach.

Today, Chris also contributes to the basketball community in other roles as Secretary of MBA, Provincial Assessor of NSBO and Past President of SMBA and now looks forward to new challenges and rewards of contributing to the BNS Board of Directors.

“Basketball is not about learning how to shoot, pass and defend; it’s about learning life skills to help develop our future community leaders who will excel from skills learned in overcoming obstacles, dealing with life’s highs and lows and learning to excel within a team work environment.”