On Wednesday, the NHL announced the five people set to be inducted to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on December 12th, 2019. Among them are NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, former NHL players and Stanley Cup winners Tim Thomas and Brian Gionta, two-time U.S. Olympian Krissy Wendell, and co-founder of the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, Neal Henderson.
Over the last 40 years, Henderson has dedicated his life to growing the game of hockey in D.C. through his Fort Dupont program. Based out of Fort Dupont Ice Arena, the development program provides access to local and inner-city youth hockey players to an organized league, and has the distinction of being the oldest minority hockey club in North America. Henderson was also a finalist for the inaugural Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award in 2018, and provided the foundations for the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone program.