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Rising Stars Academy

The Washington Capitals are dedicated to further advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in hockey. The Rising Stars Academy has been established to provide elite skill development and mentorship for local hockey players of color and their families. The program will have an emphasis on physical and mental strength and include social discussions around the culture of hockey.

The Washington Capitals are excited to launch the Capitals Rising Stars Academy, a co-ed program established to provide elite skill development and mentorship for local hockey players of color.  The Rising Stars Academy is offered at no cost to participants.

No events are currently scheduled. Interested players are encouraged to join the Rising Stars Academy community using the link below. 

COST: There is no fee to participate. The Rising Stars Academy is funded by the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation Capital Impact Fund.

Registration does not guarantee participation for the academy.  Capitals Youth Hockey Development will review all submissions and contact players regarding attendance and participation. 

Rising Stars Academy Recap | February 2024

Rising Stars Academy Recap | August 2023


The academy is focused on elite skill development and mentorship for local hockey players of color. All participants must be registered with USA Hockey for the 2023-2024 season. USA Hockey numbers will be verified prior to participation. 

  • Local ice hockey players ages 9 – 17  (USA Hockey birth years between 2006 – 2014)
  • Open to players of all skill levels. 
  • Players must be registered for the 2023-24 USA Hockey season.
  • Questions regarding eligibility can be sent to


Duante' Abercrombie is a member of the Capitals’ Black Hockey Committee, and served as the Coaching Development Associate for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2022-23 season. He is also an inaugural member of the National Hockey League Coaches’ Association’s BIPOC Coaches Program. In 2021, he was invited by the Arizona Coyotes to be a guest coach at their Rookie Development Camp which was highlighted in the show 'NHL Bound.'  Duante' was also selected to participate in the Boston Bruins Scouting Mentorship Program. Prior to joining the Maple Leafs coaching staff, Abercrombie served in roles as Stevenson University's assistant ice hockey coach and as the Washington Little Caps' Director of Player Achievement.

Abercrombie is an alumnus of Gonzaga College High School, including winning multiple championships as a player and a coach. He also coached at Georgetown Preparatory School, and in his first year, he helped lead his team to its first IAC Championship. At the age of six, Abercrombie began playing hockey with the Fort DuPont Cannons at Washington D.C.'s Fort Dupont Ice Arena.

Duante' is a native of Washington, DC. He is married to his wife, Melanie, and they have two children. A son, Patrick, and a daughter, Ava.