Buster Graves & Aaja Jalbert

ADO National Youth Champions

Last month, Charlotte North Carolina and the Queen City Darts Association played host to the ADO Youth National Championships and the ADO US Masters National Championship. 

I would like to introduce you to the 2018 Youth National Champions, Buster Graves and Aaja Jalbert. 


Girls ADO Youth National Champion

Aaja Jalbert

  

She definitely has a name you will never forget and now that name will forever be recorded in the history of the American Darts Organization (ADO) as the 2018 Youth National Champion. Not bad for a talented young lady that has only been throwing darts for about a year and a half. Who is this young phenom? Well, she doesn’t have a nickname yet, nor does she have any sponsors, but I have a feeling that will change in the near future if she keeps winning the way she has been. She is none other than, Aaja Jalbert, pronounced kinda like Asia, but don’t ask me how to say her last name because everyone says it differently. Aaja is from Gorham, Maine and travels quite often these days with dad, Aaron and stepmom, Melissa. Now she gets to take the trip of a lifetime to travel to England and compete in the Winmau Youth World Masters later this year. I wanted to take some time to give everyone a chance to get to know your newest ADO Youth National Champion. 


Name: Aaja Jalbert

Age: 13


How long have you been playing? 

A year and a half


How did you get started? 

My dad used to always throw and I found and interest in it. 

Now my dad, step mom and I compete competitively and go to most local tournaments.


How many hours do you practice a day? 

30 minutes to an hour


Do you practice with anyone or by yourself? 

I practice with my step mom and dad but mostly by myself


Is there a specific routine that you follow? 

I hit the cricket triples, and then go around the board with doubles


How many youth national events have you competed in? 2


Do you like competing with the adults or the youth more? 

I like competing with the adults because it gives me a challenge and pushes me to do better


You just won the title of ADO National Youth Champion. How does that feel? 

It feels surreal and exciting


You now get to go to England to represent the USA at the Winmau Youth World Masters. How does that feel? 

It feels incredible knowing that what I did at nationals I can do in England, but with a lot more practice


Any future goals in darts? 

I want to be a 5 time consecutive youth national winner, and I want to be the best in women's darts. I want to make history


Players that you like/follow? 

Dad, step mom, close dart friends, Peter Wright, Michael Van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, and Raymond Van Barneveld


Events you would like to compete in? 

All of the youth events, women's singles cricket and 501, and mixed doubles


Favorite food? 

Ice cream and cashew chicken


Favorite music? 

Main stream pop


Favorite movie? 

Pitch perfect and The 5th Wave


Favorite TV show? 

Survivor


Favorite sport/sports team? 

Darts? 

New England Patriots


Dart set up:  

22 gram black diamonds

Flight/shaft set up: L-style, L-style carbon spinners 


Thank you, Aaja for taking the time to tell the rest of the darting world all about you and your goals and future in darts. And thanks also to dad, Aaron for letting me do this interview for OcheBuzz. We wish all the best to Aaja in her future darts competitions and of course, we will all be watching and cheering you on when you compete at the Winmau Youth World Masters event in England later this year. 

Good luck, Aaja!


Boys ADO Youth National Champion

Buster Graves

You would think that someone that is only 14 years old, who has been throwing darts for 9 years and competing at tournaments for the last 3 years, would be well known amongst the youth events all over the USA. However, just last month in Charlotte was the first time that Buster Graves competed in an ADO Youth National Championship. And to make the experience even better, he went on to become the ADO Youth National Champion. He certainly has set some high goals for himself and this was the first step towards them, as he now will get to compete at the Winmau Youth World Masters in England later this year. I took some time to do a short player interview with Buster, so the darting world can take a moment to get to know their newest ADO Youth National Champion.


Name: Buster Lee Graves

Nickname: “The Buster”

Age: 14


How long have you been playing? 

9 years


How did you get started? 

Watching my Dad practice at home. He would practice every day and let me watch and learn


How many hours do you practice a day? 

2-4 hours a day depending on how much homework I have


Do you practice with anyone or by yourself? 

I practice alone or with my sister Nichole Graves when my Mom and Dad have league. We all practice together when possible


Is there a specific routine that you follow? 

5 triples of every cricket number, 15 bulls, 2 of all doubles. Race to 6 wins within 21 darts. 121-140 out practice


How may youth national events have you competed in? 

This is my first youth nationals. I’ve competed in tournaments for 3 years now mostly in the South East. 

This year I plan to compete in as many as possible


Do you like competing with the adults or the youth more? 

I enjoy competing and learning with the adults but I enjoy the most competing with my peers and being a good mentor for the younger players


You just won the title of ADO National Youth Champion. How does that feel?

Amazing!!! I have achieved one of my first goals on the road to becoming one of the best in the world


You now get to go to England to represent the USA at the Winmau Youth World Masters. How does that feel?

I am at a loss for words. I have wanted to represent my country ever since I learned that it is possible. I plan to make my country proud


Any future goals in darts? 

I plan to try my best to be ranked in the world and possibly #1 in the world


Players that you like/follow? 

Tim Graves (my Dad) he is the one who started me on this great journey! 

Joe Chaney- My mentor and a great friend. He has been there for me since my first win

MVG- I like his playing style and composure


Events you would like to compete in? 

CDC tour

PDC tour and PDC world championship

Winmau World Championship


Favorite food?

Pizza, Cheeseburgers, Hibachi 


Favorite music? 

Country, Classic Rock, Country-Rap


Favorite movie? 

Fast and Furious 7, Pacific Rim, and Real Steel


Favorite TV show? 

Call of the Wildman


Favorite sport/sports team? 

Darts and Basketball


Darts used:

Tribal Weapons- Shot!

Flight/shaft set up:

Shape Air Fit Flight and #5 shafts


Sponsors:

Shot! Young Guns and Pickled Pig 


Thank you, Buster for taking the time to let everyone else in the darting world have a chance to get to know a little more about you. And thanks to Dad, Tim Graves for letting this interview be done. Of course, we all will be watching and cheering on Buster in England later this year as he competes at the Winmau Youth World Masters. Good luck, Buster!


For those that may be interested in helping with the costs for Buster to travel to England, his dad has set up a GoFundMe page:  https://www.gofundme.com/tennessee039s-youth-national-champion 

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