Derline played high school basketball at Elma High School in Elma, Washington, then played college basketball at Seattle University. He was inducted into Seattle University"s basketball hall of fame in 2003. The Seattle SuperSonics chose Derline in the tenth round of the 1974 National Basketball Association Draft, with the 169th overall pick.
Despite his low draft position, Derline made the team, and played two seasons for the SuperSonics until a knee injury ended his career.
In 107 total National Basketball Association games, Derline averaged 4.8 points per game.