Savannah Brinson, long-time girlfriend of basketball phenom Le Bron James, has just finished her first major photo shoot. "I've always been in the background," she says, having changed back into her white track suit with bedazzled hearts for a bowl of spaghetti at Manhattan's Serafina restaurant.

For this low-key girl from Akron, Ohio, it was quite the heady experience. As she slowly twirls her pasta, she looks both wide-eyed and incredulous.

Brinson, 24, had better get used to the spotlight, because the glare will only get brighter now that James has left Cleveland, his home for the past seven years, for the sunny climes of Florida.

After months of serious flirtation with a handful of teams—the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Chicago Bulls—James, 25, who became a free agent this July, ultimately chose the Miami Heat.

"I'm more into furniture," which is why she's designed a new children's furniture line, a collaboration with American Signature called Home Court by Le Bron James, debuting in October.

Her dream is to one day exhibit her own designs at the prestigious Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.

At home, a few Cleveland Cavaliers diehards set fire to the player's No. Not exactly the cordial send-off they were expecting. It's over."She admits it took her some time to warm to the idea of life in South Beach. Vacationing there is great: You go for three days and get some sun, and it's time to go home," she explains. "When they told me it doesn't get any colder than 50 degrees, that sold me. "A person like myself always needs a great sidekick and a person you can rely on no matter the circumstances. "She's got my back, and I love her for that."While James settles in on his new home court, Brinson plans to split her time between Miami and Akron. "Nothing is going to change about that."Some cynics might argue that long distance and superstar athlete equals disaster.

"You have fans and you think they're going to roll with you no matter what, and then they burn your jersey? She didn't want to uproot her sons—Le Bron Jr., five, and Bryce Maximus, three—from their neighborhood, where Le Bron Jr. And if VH1's hit series Basketball Wives is to be believed, Miami groupies are as gorgeous as they are aggressive.At first, "I had no idea who he was," says Brinson, who is from the same neighborhood as James but was a year behind him at a rival high school, where she was a softball player and cheerleader.He spotted her at a football game and asked her to come to a basketball game."I'd totally forgotten about them, and he brought them to me.I think he just wanted another excuse to come and see me."The relationship progressed quickly, and soon Brinson and James were inseparable.She's also venturing into the charity world with Girl Listen, an empowerment program with the goal of helping girls deal with everything from self-esteem issues to drug and alcohol abuse and teen pregnancy.