KU basketball star Mitch Lightfoot has elegant KC wedding, then newlyweds move far away

Former University of Kansas basketball player Mitch Lightfoot got married in a glamorous affair in Kansas City on Saturday, with assists from former teammates. Even the minister used to wear a KU uniform.

Then not two days later, Lightfoot and his wife, the former Addison Daniel, moved to Europe.

Addison’s mother, Dyana Daniel of Overland Park, posted an emotional farewell to the couple on Facebook Monday, along with a photo of them at Kansas City International Airport with their luggage.

“This mommas heart cannot take all the emotions from this weekend to this…. Off to Belgium they go for a year with the Mechelen Kangoeroes!” she wrote. “What an adventure this will be!”

Addison is an elementary school teacher who formerly worked at Kansas City Athletic Cheer. At Blue Valley Southwest, she was a varsity cheerleader for three years before going on to cheer at KU, says the KU Athletics website.

Lightfoot, a forward from Gilbert, Arizona, is hailed as “a fan and media favorite during his KU career” by KU Athletics. The sixth-year super-senior played on two Final Four teams, including the 2022 NCAA National Championship team.

He played in 168 games, more than any other player in KU history.

He has a one-year contract to play pro basketball for the Kangoeroes (that’s Dutch for kangaroos) during the 2023-24 season. The Kangoeroes compete in the top league in Belgium.

But first, he wed.

If there was such a thing as a KU royal wedding, this came close Saturday evening at Loews Hotel Kansas City overlooking downtown.

KU fans would have recognized faces in the wedding party.

Lightfoot’s former KU teammates Christian Braun, and Ochai Agbaji served as groomsmen. Braun and Agbaji now play in the NBA, Braun for the current NBA champs, Denver Nuggets.

Chris Teahan, another former KU teammate, was best man.

And former KU basketball star Wayne Simien, the 2005 Big 12 Player of the Year, officiated. He is a minister and works for the university.

In black and white

The couple asked guests to wear “formal, black attire to fit in with our all-black theme. Black tie optional,” according to their wedding website.

The wedding planner was Trinity Events.

It was an adults-only affair, except for two toddler flower girls — one of whom turned and high-tailed it before making it down the aisle — and a little ring bearer who rode in a kid-sized car.

True to the theme, the bridesmaids wore black gowns and carried bouquets of white flowers designed by Blooms by Breck in Leawood.

Also in keeping with the theme, Lightfoot’s wedding band is black.

The couple shared numerous photos and video on their individual social media accounts. Maddy and Corey Schaadt at Jefferson May Photography photographed the event.

They made a striking couple. At 6-foot-8, Lightfoot, dapper in black tuxedo pants, black vest and a white jacket with a shawl collar edged in black, towered over the bride by more than a foot.

She wore a white, figure-hugging mermaid-style gown with a plunging neckline and back. The showstopping, lace-embellished train swooped dramatically around her.

Their first dance proved that Lightfoot’s better moves are on a basketball court as he gently walked his new bride around the dance floor, then lifted her into the air in his arms, swung her around and kissed her.

By the end of the night, all formality dissipated as the couple and their guests took over the dance floor. A black top hat materialized and found its way to Lightfoot’s head. Dyana Daniel’s father wore the hat to her wedding and it has been worn at every family wedding since he died.

Addison, drawing on her cheerleading days, did a stunt.

Her bridesmaids lifted her off her feet, gown and all, high into the air, where she smiled and waved her arms above her head.

The groom, standing next to them, watched warily.