Millennials

INFOGRAPHIC: Some Simple Tips To Help You Job Hunt In The Digital Age

By Nick Rojas

If you’ve ever created a profile online, you have a digital footprint.

How does that footprint impact your current job search efforts?

It’s important to understand how powerful an online presence when searching for new positions.

Seventy-five percent of recruiters say they will research a candidate online.

Another seventy percent say they have rejected candidates based on the results of online research. Cleaning up your online reputation is a smart strategy for job hunters in the digital age.

Reputation

Establish your online reputation with a LinkedIn account.

The basic account is free to setup. You can provide a digital resume by completing the available sections. Ensure your text is free of grammar and spelling errors and complete as much of the profile as you can. Uploading a professional picture makes it 14 times more likely that your profile will be found by potential employers.

Managing your personal profile is another important part of establishing a professional, digital reputation. Assess your personal social media accounts.

If you post links or images that might paint you in a less than professional manner, your social media accounts should either be deleted, set to private, or not associated with your full name.

These simple steps will go a long way in giving employers a professional overview of you and your experience.

Resumes

Video resumes are a great way to separate your application from ninety percent of the available resumes in circulation.

Social media platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or Vine can be used to host your video.

For best results, work with an editor to produce a polished final product. While a video is a great way to introduce yourself to a potential employer, a low-quality result can leave a horrible first impression.

Video Interviews

Employers are taking advantage of the stable and affordable options in video conferencing to conduct video interviews.

These interviews can be both one or two-way interviews. In either case, prepare before the interview to ensure you have the proper connection speed and equipment to conduct a seamless conversation.

Practice with a friend to make sure you are comfortable with the format. Make sure your dress, grooming and visible surrounding are in order to project a professional appearance.

The tools available for job seekers in the digital age are powerful if used appropriately.

Take advantage of the benefits of a professional online reputation and avoid the pitfalls that can affect your chances before you have a chance to present your case to potential employers.

jobhuntingdigitalresume

Meet IGNITE: The Organization Working To Get Millennial Women To Take Over Politics

There are only 104 women in the whole of the Congress, making up only 19.4% of the 535 combined members of both houses.

That dizzying gender-gap in politics was what inspired Dr. Anne Moses to create IGNITE, a non-profit organization that helps empower young women who want to run for public office.

Moses, the founder and president of IGNITE has been determined to fight for women’s equal political representation from a young age.

When she was 23 years old Moses watched as Anita Hill got attacked by scores of Senators on national television after she claimed that future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her. All the while, Moses noticed that there was not a single woman on the Senate Judiciary committee.

Moses realized that to reach political equity, young women had to be trained to be leaders who are ready to run for office.

She started IGNITE in 2009 with the purpose of training young women to think critically about policy and to become civically engaged.

“Young women deserve the most amount of support and mentorship to walk the path to politics,” Sara Guillermo, the Chief Program Officer for IGNITE said in an interview with RISE NEWS.

The founding states of IGNITE are California, Texas and Colorado but the organization has been expanding over the years.

Young women from high schools, colleges and universities receive training via high school curriculum, college chapters, annual conferences, and elected officials events.

Guillermo is thankful to these pioneering young women who have taken the opportunity to develop professionally and digest policy topics that they care about.

IGNITE trains young women between the ages of 14 and 22.

“When we get them younger, we get them to stay with us and the impact we create for them is incredible and valuable,” Guillermo said.

The issue of gender equality has been present in the world for several decades and yet the rate of progress has been painfully slow.

Thus, the question still remains, why do we have so few women running for elected office?

Guillermo’s answer to this is that they are not asked to, “they [women] are not socialized enough” in the idea of running for office.

IGNITE is an outlet were young women can see that they have the capacity to lead and make a change.

The response so far has been extremely positive as the organization has trained over 5,000 young women in their own communities from various backgrounds.

Over the years of teaching the curriculum, Guillermo has had some beautiful success stories.

One of them is of an undocumented young woman that had the leadership and drive to get involved in politics, but also had many other barriers in her life.

As an undocumented person she was prevented from studying abroad or when applying to college she had limited opportunities. She could not apply for FAFSA for example.

Thanks to IGNITE she had the opportunity to take her first plane ride and what a ride it was.

She flew to Washington D.C. and met with some of President Obama’s advisors.

According to Guillermo, she is currently attending college and starting an IGNITE chapter there.

In the future the founders of the group are thinking of expanding.

They will host seven conferences in seven cities and will launch fellowships programs to lead national college work.

Guillermo has advice for young people who have a passion for making a change in their communities or for being involved in politics.

“Try everything at least once, find a mentor to talk to, don’t be scared to try something different, we walk around with fear and not wanting to do certain things, just do it,” Guillermo said.

To learn more you can visit the group’s website: http://www.IGNITEnational.org

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: IGNITE/ Submitted

A Millennial For President? Why Younger Candidates for Office Will Help Our Democracy

By Jack Cahn

From anarchist Vermin Supreme, supporter of free ponies for all Americans, to convicted felon Keith Judd, this election season has seen a wide variety of political candidates.

Noticeably missing from ballot lists, however, are the millennials.

This isn’t due to lack of interest. Daniel Hernandez, 24, a Tuscon school board member who President Obama called a “hero”, attempted to run for the Arizona State Senate in 2014, but was denied because of his age.

Likewise, on the federal level, the constitution restricts those under 35, 30, and 25 from running for the presidency, Senate, and House, respectively.

In 2016 more than ever, these restrictions seem arbitrary and unfair. At a time in which young people have taken up roles as leading surgeons, lawyers, and entrepreneurs, the notion that they lack the maturity to run for political office is unreasonable.

And in an election in which the inflammatory Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President and a convicted felon appeared on the Texas Democratic primary ballot, it is hard to argue that young people are uniquely immature compared to older candidates as to be banned from running for office.

Disqualifying candidates from public office without just basis threatens the foundations of our democracy and our value of free and fair elections.

For this reason alone, our government ought to amend the constitution to allow younger legislators to run for office, as a recent White House petition, which has garnered a few thousand signatures, advocates.

Doing so would be beneficial to our democracy for three additional reasons:

Better Representation: As of the 2010 census, 10 percent of Americans were 18 to 24, and almost a third were 18 to 34.

These young Americans deserve representation and are arguably better represented by those who share their backgrounds and perspectives.

Certainly, if younger politicians were allowed to run for office, millennial issues such as college debt reform, gun reform, and the war on drugs would be considered less fringe and more mainstream.

Less Political Opportunism: In recent years, opportunistic politicians have supported policies that help older generations, their primary voter base, at the expense of young voters, who tend to vote less frequentely.

These policies have included budget deficits that invariably saddle future generations with debt, irresponsible environmental policies that will leave millennials and their children with polluted air, water, and cities, and lack of investment in education or dedication to affordable college.

Allowing younger Americans to run for office will guarantee a group of legislators committed to the welfare of America’s future, not just its present.

Diversity of Perspectives: The latest research in management shows unequivocally that a diversity of perspectives improves decision-making.

Yet Congress is one of the least diverse governmental bodies with far less female representation than peer countries, and only a few millennial leaders.

Allowing those over the age of 18 to run for higher office would contribute to a more diverse set of elected officials and promote better policy-making in Washington.

Internationally, the practice of allowing young people to run for political office is widespread.

In Canada, Pierre-Luc Dusseault was elected as a Member of Parliament at the age of 19. Likewise, Wyatt Roy would have been ineligible to run for Congress had he been an American, but ran successfully to be an MP in Australia when he was 20.

In Sweden and Uganda, Anton Amade Abele and Proscovia Alengot Oromait became MPs at 18 and 19, respectively.

Likewise, 18-year-olds are eligible to run for mayor of New York City and other US cities including Holyoke, Massachusetts, where 22-year-old Alex Morse became mayor in 2013.

None of these cities have fallen apart as millennial detractors would have predicted.

Nor have these politicians seen any major controversy over poor decision-making.

On the contrary, young, local politicians like Syosset, New York’s Josh Lafanzan have been commended for their hard work and entrepreneurial approaches to policy-making.

The disenfranchisement of young people, then, is rooted more in fear than reality.

Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein is the perfect example of this fear.

In his book The Dumbest Generation, Bauerlein joins academics and pundits in painting a picture of young, self-centered egotists who will be this country’s demise.

This fear and pessimism couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Millennials are on their way to becoming the most educated generation in American history, and have proven themselves as leaders in academia and industry.

In Silicon Valley, they have disrupted businesses on Wall Street and Main Street, improving communication, healthcare, and technology.

Washington would be next up for reform if only young people could run for office; our country already has a backbench of young leaders from Arizona’s Daniel Hernandez to West Virginia’s Saira Blair who are brave, radical, and realistic enough to contribute to solving America’s toughest challenges in the White House and on Capitol Hill.

But they are being blocked from disrupting Washington by the same stagnancy and resistance to change that has incited anger and fueled political outsiders.

In this time of great global uncertainty, voters ought to rally against this government stagnancy and fight to allow younger politicians to run for office so that the group of those who will shape our future includes those who will live it.

Jack Cahn is the co-author of When Millennials Rule, and has served as a national leader of the Junior State of America, a civic activism organization with 10,000 members and 500k alumni. He was awarded the Scholastic National Gold Medal for Persuasive Writing in 2014.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

 

Cover Photo Credit: shakey1694/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

FIU Gets Taken Over By Pokemon Go Fans Looking For A Squirtle

The Pokemon Go phenomenon has reached a fever pitch across the United States.

And locally in South Florida, the app has forced thousands of people to explore their community while also inadvertently causing some pretty funny scenes.

One of those funny scenes happened on the campus of Florida International University.

On Sunday night, scores of FIU students rushed to a single point on campus all in the hopes of catching an elusive Pokemon inside of Green Library.

Eddy Madero, a marketing student at FIU captured the scene on his phone and narrated it pretty well.

“All for a fucking Squirtle,” Madero said in the video.

WATCH:

We’ve reached out to talk to Madero and we’ll update this story. 

Do you have a funny Pokemon Go story or experience? Contact us at editor@risenews.net.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

 Cover Photo Credit: Eddy Madero/ Facebook (Screengrab)

Over 50,000 People Want To Remove Tomi Lahren From The Blaze

Tomi Lahren, the controversial millennial shock jock who is always all over your Facebook feed seems to have a whole bunch of folks who don’t like her.

Over 53 thousand people have signed a Change.org petition calling for Lahren to be removed from Glenn Beck’s Blaze television network because of her habit of being wrong and intellectually lazy.

“Everyone has a voice and an opinion,” the petition reads. “However, when the wrong voice is given a platform and is allowed to influence an audience of millions by perpetuating derogatory ideology toward select groups of individuals, this is where the injustice lies.  Tomi Lahren (although her words are laden with passion and emotion) lacks the knowledge and experience to effectively communicate and facilitate.”

The petition campaign was created by a man named Cameron Tendaji and it has gained traction on social media.

“As a millennial in these “progressive” times, Tomi Lahren should be allowing safe spaces for all audiences,” The petition reads. “Instead, she attacks minority groups, fabricates historical “facts”, and is grossly misinformed on political topics.”

Lahren is pretty flawed as a media figure.

She has little experience and has been a darling of the right-wing since her schtick of attacking progressives started a couple of years ago.

She is a bomb thrower of the Rush Limbaugh variety and has almost no journalistic credibility.

Some of her commentary is borderline racist and almost always unfair.

However, should she really be silenced just because we disagree with her?

Is it really the job of media to create “safe spaces”?

Isn’t the role of media to stir the pot and chafe for change while identifying uncomfortable facts?

Just a thought.

Anyway, if the folks supporting this petition get their way then Lahren will soon be silenced.

“Tom [sic] Lahren’s hate speech against minority groups will no longer be tolerated,” the petition reads. “She will learn that although we have freedom of speech, there is no freedom from consequences. This may not solve the main issue; however, great things have small beginnings.”

But instead of removing Lahren, shouldn’t we just create a better alternative to her?

Stay tuned RISE NEWS readers, stay tuned.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Among Millennial Voters, Trump Is Actually In Third Place

The wisdom of youth.

Please don’t let older folks say that millennials are a stupid generation ever again.

A new Pew poll released a few days ago showed that Donald Trump is actually in third place among millennial voters behind Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson.

When millennials were asked who they would support between the three main candidates for President, they spilt in the following way:

Clinton: 47%
Johnson: 22%
Trump: 21%

However, young people are not happy with their choices.

From the poll:

“Nearly three-quarters of voters younger than 30 (74%) say they have given quite a lot of thought to the election, which is higher than at this point in 2012 (59%). But only about a quarter of young people (23%) are satisfied with their choices for president. At this point in both 2012 and 2008, more than twice as many voters younger than 30 said they were satisfied with their candidate choices (60% in 2012, 68% in 2008).

In addition to Pew’s findings, another poll from Quinnipiac University showed something similar among voters between the ages of 18 to 34:

Clinton: 44%
Trump: 21%
Johnson: 12%
Stein: 10%

While we are not happy, at least we aren’t falling for the racist campaign of Trump like so many of our parents and grandparents are.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: ITU Pictures/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Millennials And Baby Boomers Aren’t Really At War With Each Other But It Sometimes Feels Like It

The division between the Baby Boomer generation and Generation Y (Millennials) is the most important generational gap to date in American history.

But how are they different and why is there a so-called tension between the two generations?

Jim Tankersley explains this phenomenon in the Washington Post

“Boomers soaked up a lot of economic opportunity without bothering to preserve much for the generations to come. They burned a lot of cheap fossil fuels, filled the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases, and will probably never pay the costs of averting catastrophic climate change or helping their grandchildren adapt to a warmer world.”

His article clearly identifies the qualities of the Baby Boomer generation that have contributed to the animosity that the rest of the country feels, and detriments to the economy are at the forefront of that anger.

The Economy’s downfall:

This is a frequent criticism of the Baby Boomer generation that has fueled the tension between them and younger generations, especially their children’s generation, Millennials.

Often, Generation Y is accused of being poor spenders and even worse savers; but with high tuition rates and a small job market, how can anyone save money?

Economic writer Michael Snyder references a recent survey that found, “that 47 percent of all Millennials are using at least half of their paychecks to pay off debt”.

Boomers who accuse Millennials of being lazy and poor are underestimating the fundamental difference that made their young adult life far easier than Generation Y’s, and that was a booming economy.

When the Baby Boomers began working, wages were higher and jobs were accessible with or without a degree.

Tankersely also explains “The typical U.S. household headed by someone who was 25 to 29 years old in 1975 saw its real income increase by 60 percent until it peaked and began to slowly decline before retirement”.

Compare that to Millennials, and Tankersely states, “For the 2001 group, the peak was just over 20 percent higher”.

So clearly, any economic agreement made between these two generations can be attributed to the conditions of the economy and less to do with drive or a motivation to work.

Photo Credit: MSLGROUP Global/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: MSLGROUP Global/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

However, there is something to say for the ways in which Millennials view work that is unique from other generations.

Life Goals:

A recent Gallup poll explained, “In addition to finding steady, engaging jobs, millennials want to have high levels of well-being, which means more than being physically fit. Yes, millennials want to be healthy, but they also want a purposeful life, active community and social ties, and financial stability.”

Millennials travel far more than any other generation, they do not jump right into any career, and they are the most diverse generation to date.

According to CNN, there are 76 million Baby Boomers, and 72 percent of them are white.

It then demonstrates that out of the 87 million Millennials, only 56 percent are white. Their multiculturalism makes them connected to the world beyond their niche and job, and allows them to move far and often.

Due to the nature of the Internet and the ability to access information with a touch of a button, Millennials have a different kind of motivation and connectedness to the world.

This difference of involvement has unfortunately resulted in a more severe lack of involvement in politics than any other generation when they were young.

Political Involvement:

Though the Internet is a tool, it has also decreased Millennial’s attention spans. That is why news outlets that write quick and fast articles are the most successful amongst this generation.

While Millenials news feeds are clouded with dozens of list form articles and short abbreviated news reports, Baby Boomers are reading more traditional news outlets that cater more directly to a political side.

There isn’t a clear answer as to which form is better or worse, but it is clear, that due to the condensed and diluted nature of these shorter articles, and a lack of political involvement, Millennials are perceived to be less informed on political or social issues.

Boomers will accuse Millennials of failing to congregate for any political protests, (Occupy Wall Street was unfortunately a poor example for Generation Y).

However, Millennials see the world through a computer, which allows them to access more of the world all at once as opposed to congregating over one issue at a time. That is a lot of power that the generation hasn’t fully discovered how to handle.

Secondly, what is often overlooked is what the Boomer generation was able to ban together and protest about, and that is the Vietnam War and the first media coverage through television broadcasts.

True, Millennials weren’t out on the streets protesting the Iraq war, but the majority of them weren’t at risk of fighting due to a lack of a draft. This is a sad reality, but without the personal threat such as what Baby Boomers experienced in 1969, a generation is less likely to oppose military involvement.

It isn’t fair to compare the ways in which Millennials protest injustice to how Baby Boomers did. Baby Boomers didn’t have the Internet; they had their voices in the streets; that was their tool.

Today, Millennials see thousands of posts on Twitter or Facebook exclaiming the injustices of the world and a dire need to improve these issues. They are extremely aware of the fatal state of the environment, and they are making noise about these things.

However, they are doing it in places where Baby Boomers do not go.

So is there really a fight between the generations? Of course not; and that’s because neither generation interacts in the same outlets.

If anything Baby Boomers are resented for causing so much damage to the environment and the economy, but Millennials lack of involvement in politics keeps Baby Boomers in control of the system and disengages any kind of battle between the two generations.

In his Washington Post piece Tankersley says, [if Baby Boomers want to improve the country], “They should take steps, right now, to reduce carbon emissions and head off a debt crisis. They should pay higher taxes or accept slimmer retirement benefits, and they should tell lawmakers to make cleaner energy a top priority.”

In any case, it isn’t accurate to pair these generations against each other because much of Millennials’ characteristics come from what their parents, (the Baby Boomers) taught them.

If you break the world and leave the clean up to your children, don’t give them a medal just for participating on a soccer team, it will make them narcissistic, and it will hinder individual drive.

Instead, teach them to use the voice you used in the streets, but to take advantage of the new tools they have to make that voice louder.

Baby Boomers should ignite a fire for their children to blaze through, they should support them, not criticize them for an economy and a job market that they did not cause.

They should view the millennial culture and Internet usage as a tool to more frequently talk about large issues on a global scale.

Yes, Baby Boomers’ parents hated rock and roll, and now our parents hate rap, but there isn’t a war between the two, just disagreements and different experiences.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Vincent Albanese/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

90’s Kids’ Obsession With Nostalgia Is Actually Pretty Weird

By Kelsey D’Auben

Later this month Netflix will be premiering it’s newest series Fuller House, a spin-off series of one of the 90’s most popular sitcoms Full House, which will star the complete original cast (minus the Olsen twins.)

This is only the latest in the trend of rebooting old movies and television series from the 1990’s.

Sci-fi shows like The X-Files and Twin Peaks have reboots out this year, it was announced that Friends would have a reunion show, and this week Tyra Banks confirmed via Twitter than a Lifesize 2, a sequel to the famous Disney Channel original movie, is happening.

And all these announcements have every true 90’s kid very excited to see these classics back on screen.

Television and movies aren’t the only pieces of the past that 90’s kids cling on to. Over the past few years trends that should have died with a change in the millennium are making their comeback.

Grown adults are now playing Pokémon video games, wearing denim overalls and plastic choker necklaces, while listening to Backstreet Boys on repeat. And this doesn’t seem to just be an instance of popular fashion trends cycling back.

The way today’s young adults are not seeming to just take this as a fun way to honor their pasts, but we seem to have an obsession with going back to it.

Photo Credit: lix -/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The height of cool. Not. Photo Credit: lix -/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Millennials are a generation who seem to be in denial about moving forward and clinging onto the nostalgia of the past.

Sure, once a generation reaches adulthood they all seem to enjoy reminiscing on aspects of their youth, like the Baby Boomers and their Classic Rock.

So what is it that fuels this need for today’s generation to relive the past? Well, Millennials experienced their childhoods much differently than any generation before us.

Along with stretching over two different decades, centuries, and millenniums we grew up in what felt like two different worlds.

Photo Credit: Jörg Schubert/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Jörg Schubert/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

We are the generation that lived half of our childhood without the digital revolution, and the other half of our youth in a world completely run by it.

We became the generation that bridged the technological gap. Because of this, we long for the simplicity that we were able to experience early in our lives.

And we achieve this through re-living the aspects of 90’s culture, such as television, movies, games, and fashion.

But it is all a little bit strange, isn’t it? And perhaps a bit lazy on our part as well.

Cover Photo Credit: David Amsler/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Here Are The 10 Best Millennials Playing In The NBA

By Jay Rumph

The 2015-2016 NBA season has already begun, and it’s time to decide on the top 10 players in the league- who also happen to be millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000).

Here is our list of the top 10 millennials players in the NBA:

Photo Credit: Matthew Addie/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Matthew Addie/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

1) Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, PG

NBA champion and reigning MVP, Curry has played lights out thus far in the NBA season. The Warriors are on pace to win over 70 games this season, with Curry leading the way. Leading the Warriors to an undefeated record at 22-0, Curry is one of a kind. He’s the best shooter in the league, and will be the best shooter in NBA history when his career is over. Only 27 years old, he has not reached his prime yet. This year Curry is averaging 32.4 pts, 4.9 rebs, and 5.8 asts with intentions on taking the Warriors back to the NBA Finals.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

2) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, SF

James has been the best player in the league for years now. He continues to be a dominant force, and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. Returning to Cleveland last year, he lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals his first year back in Cleveland. Plagued by injuries, the Cavs were unable to defeat the Warriors in the Finals after six games. James put the team on his back during the finals averaging 35.8 pts, 13.3 rbs, and 8.8 asts against the Warriors. Without a fully healthy team, the Cavaliers were unable to reach their ultimate goal.

Today is a new day, and LeBron is ready for this season. He is still the game’s best all-around player, and the Cavs only go as far as James will take them. The ultimate goal for James is to bring a championship back to Cleveland. Will this be the year for the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

3) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, SF

Kevin Durant is on pace to have his best scoring season yet. With a Returning from a foot injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the 2014-2015 NBA season, Durant looks to bounce back with full force. The former MVP is averaging just around 27.6 pts, 7.7 rebs, and 3.6 asts this year. In the last year of his contact with the Thunder, will we see Durant in a new uniform next year? His ultimate goal is to win a championship, and he finally has the supporting cast to help him achieve that goal.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

4) Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, PF

Davis is the youngest superstar in the NBA at age 22. Davis has tremendous upside and continues to improve every year. He led the Pelicans to an 8th seed in the Western Conference finals last year. A top candidate for the MVP award this season, Davis is averaging 23.8 pts, 10.9 rebs, and 2.8 blks. Last year he had the highest player efficiency rating in the NBA. The sky is the limit for Davis, but his main goal will be to win a championship.

5) James Harden, Houston Rockers, SG

The runner-up for the MVP award last year was James Harden. Arguably the best offensive player in the NBA currently, Harden scores the basketball with ease. James Harden is scoring points, assisting his teammates, and rebounding the ball for the Rockets. He’s averaging 29.5 pts, 6.7 rebs, and 6.6 asts this year, while trying to lead the Rockets back to the top of the Western Conference.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

6) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, PG

The 6’3” point guard can do it all on the basketball court. The most aggressive and explosive point guard the NBA has ever seen. He’s a playmaker, scorer, defensive stopper, and superstar. Last year Westbrook earned his first scoring title, fourth All-Star Selection, and the All-Star MVP award. He led the league with 11 triple doubles, while leading the Thunder in Kevin Durant’s absence. There is nothing that Westbrook can’t do, and he has not reached his prime yet in the NBA.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

7) Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, PF

Blake Griffin is more than just a high flier. Probably the most athletic forward in the NBA currently, Griffin has worked on many aspects of his game. He’s a much more complete player then before, and has developed his face-up game to go along with his ability to score at the rim. Last year, he averaged 21.9 pts, 7.6 rebs, and 5.3 asts. He also shot 50 percent from the field and 73 percent at the free throw line. At 26, Blake is in his prime and has gained much experience through the playoffs playing alongside Chris Paul.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

8) Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, PG

At age 30, Chris Paul is a veteran in the NBA, but continues to be one of the best point guards in the league. The smartest point guard in the league, Paul can still score the ball, pass, and defend the best guards around the league. Paul has never won a NBA championship since entering the NBA. Last year he averaged 19 pts, 10.2 asts, 4.6 rbs, and 1.9 stls earning him second team All NBA honors.

Photo Credit: GAMEFACE-PHOTOS/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: GAMEFACE-PHOTOS/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

9) Demarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, C

The Kings did not make the playoffs last year, but Cousins showed a ton of upside for the franchise. A very talented center, Cousins has the skills on both sides of the ball to be a top player in the league. Last year he averaged 24.1 pts, 12.7 rbs, 3.6 asts, 1.7 blks, and 1.5 stls which earned him his first All-Star appearance. We can assume that Cousins continues to improve his all-around game playing with Rajon Rondo this year.

Where's the blazer bro?  Photo Credit: Press Cambrabcn/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Where’s the blazer bro? Yes, we seriously couldn’t get a pic of him in a jersey. But trust us, he plays basketball. Photo Credit: Press Cambrabcn/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

10) Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, C

Great defensive player with a talented offensive skill-set. Gasol has emerged as one of the best big man in the NBA over the last couple of years. Last year, Gasol made first team All-NBA honors after he averaged, 17.4 pts, 7.8 rebs, 3.8 asts, and 1.6 blks. He also shot 50 percent from the floor, and 80 percent from the charity line. Marc sets himself apart from other big men with his mid-range touch and savvy post moves.

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