Cloud data management startup Rubrik has gained an unexpected investor in the form of NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

The basketballer, who was named 2017 NBA Finals MVP, has invested an undisclosed amount in the rapidly growing Palo Alto firm, which describes itself as the ‘world’s first platform to orchestrate data for hybrid cloud enterprises anytime, anywhere.’

As well as investment, the company will also take on the star as an advisor on strategic initiatives and content development opportunities, through Thirty Five Media, Durant’s business arm.

Durant, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, said: ‘I invest in game-changing companies with a winning spirit. Rubrik is a rising tech powerhouse taking on a $48 billion market opportunity. I’m excited to support Bipul and his team as they build a global brand.’

Rubrik co-founder and CEO Bipul Sinha seems to be more than happy with his acquisition of the 28-year-old. He said: ‘Kevin has deep business relationships around the globe and he has created a brand that represents excellence and authenticity. We are thrilled to welcome Kevin to the Rubrik team.’

This is not the first tech firm that Durant has invested in, having put money into on-demand delivery service Postmates and investment app Acorns. It is not uncommon for NBA players to move into investment, and there is a growing trend towards investment in tech.

Regular courtside spectators at the Oracle Arena, the Golden State Warriors home, include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Zach Nelson, Netsuite CEO.

The pattern of investment may be as a result of career development programs in the NBA, which look to improve players’ prospects off the court. The education aspect seems to be working, with Sinha praising Durant’s and other NBA players’ investment smarts.

‘We were blown away by KD’s know-how in tech, and his team’s thought process on Silicon Valley. The prominence of the tech industry has not gone unnoticed by players.’

Rubrik was recently placed in the ‘visionaries’ quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 2017 for data centre backup and recovery solutions. The three-year old firm is the only new vendor to enter the quadrant since 2014.

Gartner predicts that ‘by 2021, 50% of organizations will augment or replace their current backup application with another solution, compared to what they deployed at the beginning of 2017.’