Former Wisconsin-Stout standout killed in Costa Rica crash

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) - Coaches and teammates are mourning the death of former Wisconsin-Stout basketball standout and Thorp native Amanda Geissler.

The California-based adventure travel company Backroads has confirmed that Geissler was one of 10 Americans killed in a charter plane crash Sunday in Costa Rica. Two crew members also died.

Geissler was a guide for Backroads. She was a point guard at Wisconsin-Stout from 2003-07. Head coach Mark Thomas tells KSTP-TV that Geissler is remembered for never being afraid of anything and never accepting failure.

Former assistant coach Erin Sullivan says Geissler wanted to travel and live a life filled with adventure.

Thomas said a number of Geissler's former teammates were gathering Monday to remember her.

The other U.S. citizens who died in the plane crash were part of a tour organized by Backroads.

Her family released this statement:

"Since May, Amanda Geissler was working as a personal vacation travel leader with a company that shared her same passion for adventure. She was able to see many beautiful places across the world in just a few short months. Her last placement was in Costa Rica where she led families during their Christmas holiday on a tropical adventure including seeing an active volcano, 400 foot waterfall, and many beautiful beaches. She was very excited to be working with families, and was eager to enjoy the sunshine, warm weather, and ocean waves.

Amanda is hard to describe in a short paragraph or a simple word or phrase. She was so much more than that. Her passion for life and adventurous spirit allowed her to truly live and experience more in her 33 years of life than many have the opportunity to. Amanda’s love for the outdoors, setting goals and crushing them, and adoration for her family and friends are like non-other.

Amanda was one of the most mentally tough athletes around, and her desire for “what’s next” always turned into a check mark on her list. Amanda lived her life with no regrets and inspired so many others to consider the same. She is loved by many, and with a heavy heart it will be hard to say goodbye. If Amanda could leave us all with one thing it would be – write down whatever it is you want to do…and make it happen."

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