King of the Court
Bringing people together through a shared love of sports has allowed Rezhan Majid ('02) to build thriving social, intercultural communities in Malaysia.
Basketball has always been more than a game for Rezhan Majid. Nurtured in the main gym at ISB's Lido campus, his passion for the sport sustained him during his finance degree at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Now, it and other sports are at the core of his growing business that promotes physical and social wellbeing.
"Sport has always been a microcosm of life. Trying to accomplish a goal through teamwork and bringing people together. I think people naturally want to be a part of a community or team. Sport brings all that together in one experience," he said.
When Rezhan returned from the US to his native Malaysia in 2009, he quickly discovered the basketball scene was fragmented and disorganized. Despite the country being a cultural melting pot, sports have traditionally been segregated; soccer is predominantly played by Malays, while Chinese lean toward basketball.
"The leagues that they had here were pretty sub-par. As harmonious as life is here, the only league I could join was literally called the 'Non-Chinese Basketball League.' The facilities, management, and overall experience was just terrible, so I decided to start one with a couple of people here," he explained.
Rezhan and his co-founders launched StatSports League in early 2014. The competitive basketball league prides itself on being open to all, with games played in top venues and a website that gives players statistics and video highlights.
"We made it more exciting for the casual weekend warrior," said Rezhan, adding there are plans to launch a league in Singapore.
Not content to rest on his StatSports laurels, Rezhan is also the CEO of Sports Bandits. As Kuala Lumpur's first social sports community, it features traditional offerings including basketball, volleyball, and flag football in addition to other fun options like ultimate Frisbee and archery tag.
For Rezhan, both ventures share many of the values he learned at ISB.
"Being integrated and bringing people together is a requirement for my life. So many of us from ISB are used to that: when we walk in a room, we kind of need that multicultural feel," he explained.
"It gives us a lot of validation to know the market wants it and we feel justified in what we're doing. Ultimately, what we want to do is not just grow the sport and our business, but grow the industry."