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Get Directions to GREAT LAKES BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION semi-pro basketballJackson Local Weather
Robert Fillmore
507 E. Bird
Jackson, Michigan
  My Site News  

Thursday, January 6
  • The leagues is a business, a non-profit organization, made up of other non-profit businesses/clubs.
  • Each club as well as the league must remain non-profit businesses with each club being separate businesses from the league and carry insurance.
  • Each club will also be allowed one vote per club and league meetings, typically 4-5 a year, there for these non-profit businesses will have a say in how the non-profit league they are a member of is operated.
  • Each club will have both, a men’s soccer team and women’s soccer team, or a men’s basketball team and women’s basketball team.
  • EVERYBODY involved with the club and the league must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Most players in the league will most likely have some college playing experience, and at least high school experience
  • It is up to each club on whether to have a cheerleading squad.
  • Play in a high school quality facility or greater, with a concession stand and bleachers.
  • Clubs most likely will sell sponsorship for games, including the game program with a donation being charged. Clubs should also sell souvenirs, sell game tickets, and sell 50/50 tickets.
  • The league encourages each club to be involved with their community. This include participating in parades, visiting hospitals or nursing homes, help with various fundraisers. Player, coach and cheerleader appearances. Even financial donations, especially if there is an end of year profit.

Thursday, April 29
  • Nobody is paid. You will not be paid.
  • You must pay for your own travel, including motels, gas, air plane tickets, bus tickets, train tickets, etc., if you must travel to practice or for games.
  • You must pay your relocation expenses if required. We do not pay rent, purchase of homes, moving, etc..
  • Each club may charter a bus for transportation

1.      The league does not help you get on a club.

2.      There presently isn’t a club

3.      You must pay attention to when a club comes to your area, which will be announced in your media and on this web site and contact them.

4.      Don’t contact the league as we can not help.

5.      The soonest play will begin is closer to 2015


Thursday, April 29

Robert Fillmore started out as a student athletic trainer in 1991 for Vandercook Lake High School, his freshman year, after serving as the manager for the varsity basketball and football teams. As athletic trainer Fillmore worked the with football and basketball teams through his senior year of high school of high school. Fillmore not only served with his high school though. In 1991, 1992, and 1993 Fillmore was one of about ten volunteer student athletic trainers at the University of Michigan’s high school football technique school which included over 1,000 students and some of the best coaches in the country. The Uof M camps weren’t Fillmore’s only though. In 1992 and 1993 Fillmore volunteered at the Jackson Area High School Football technique camp put on by the coaches of Olivet College and Albion College. Through volunteering at the Jackson area camp, he was invited to volunteer with the Jackson Bombers semi-pro football team in their very first season in 1992 and continued to volunteer with the Bombers until they ceased operation in 1994. In addition to volunteering with the Jackson Bombers, Fillmore volunteered to help the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League in 1993 and 1994. 

“With the Jackson Bombers I saw a lot. First of all, off the field, we drew more than 5,000 fans per game and sold out Jackson High School’s football field where we played. We were even able to make large financial donations to various charities after just the first season. Second, on the field we were 25-5 through three seasons, made the playoffs every year, and went undefeated winning the Michigan Football League Championship in our very first season.”, says Fillmore himself. When the Jackson

Bombers folded Fillmore’s career path changed. That’s when he got into business management. During his senior year of high school, 1994-1995, he formed his own semi-professional football team that kicked off just two days before high school commencement ceremonies and the day before his high school open-house in 1995. Fillmore continued as President until just before the start of the 1996 season. 

“Developing the club was a lot of hard work. A lot of road block. There were many doubters that didn’t like dealing with a high school kid. We had uniforms that went on back order and weren’t going to be in until almost a month after the season started so we had to order from a different company. We had the contract for the field where we were going to play pulled off the field. We almost didn’t get the sponsorship we needed to pay our league dues, meaning we would have never gotten off the ground. Much to my disapproval, the Board of Directors voted to fire the first Head Football Coach then the four that carried the majority later resigned. The new Board of Directors then voted to fire the new Head Coach the night before the first game. On the field in our first year we only won one game, but we didn’t have the problems with players off the field like the Bombers did.” 

The Jackson Jaguars started Fillmore’s path in Business Management. When Fillmore enrolled in college at Spring Arbor College, which is now Spring Arbor University, he studied business management for on semester before transferring to Baker College in 1996.             During the 1996 season for the Jaguars a new team formed in the area, just out side of Jackson County in Stockbridge and called themselves the Michigan Thunder. The group that Fillmore turned the Jaguars over to was not able to keep the club going after the 1996 season, opening up the Jackson market for a new team. Enter the Michigan Thunder moving from Stockbridge and calling themselves the Jackson Bombers starting in 1997. In 2000 Fillmore started volunteering with the new Bombers as Vice-President of Marketing until the time he resigned in 2002. 

“The second Jackson Bombers club was competing in the Mid-Continental Football League, and league that is quite comparable to the Midwest Baseball League. We had clubs in many of the same markets, averaged drawing the same amount of fans at 2,000-3,000 per club. Played in stadiums with nearly identical seating capacity, etc.. On the field we were nationally ranked, and one year came one game away form the national championship. Another year one team from the league was voted as National Champions out of over 500 teams, and another team won another association’s National Championship through a playoff system. We even had players such as Major Harris and Ricky Powers playing in the league.” 

Fillmore now has his sights on developing a semi-pro basketball league called the Great Lakes Basketball Association, and a semi-pro soccer league called the Tri-State Soccer League. 

“With the first Jackson Bombers and then the Jackson Jaguars we played in the Michigan Football League who it’s history had clubs in Cadillac, Bay City, Traverse City, Petoskey, and many communities that may think they could not host a club. With the new Jackson Bombers we competed in the Mid-Continental Football League who had 12 teams in six different states that included Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin. I would like to see both, the GLBA and TSL, be a cross both the MFL and MCFL.  I would like to keep clubs far enough apart that they don’t compete in the same market, but close enough together that there is not an exurbanite travel cost.” 

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