>> When it came time to leave her native Bahamas for college, Kamela Forbes chose the University of North Carolina partly because that’s where Michael Jordan went to school — but don’t think that made her a regular at the campus’ basketball cathedral, the Dean Dome. “I went to a couple of games,” says the laid-back stunner, who earned a UNC business degree. “But you had to wake up real early to get tickets, and it was cold out. It was just a lot to get to the game.”

Okay, so she wasn’t the model Tar Heels fan. But she may be the model model. Since posing as a teen back in Nassau, Kamela has worked nearly nonstop in front of the lens, vamping for fashion designers (Louis Verdad), beauty suppliers (Wella) and automakers (Mitsubishi), and helping guys like Howard Stern, Method Man and LL Cool J look like much bigger studs. Amazingly, Kamela retains her knockout figure with relative ease, working out “in spurts” with free weights and cardio, and enjoying (in moderation) cheesecake, ice cream and her favorite Bahamian mollusk, conch.

What’s more, she truly digs her job — the catwalk especially. “My personality changes when I get on the runway,” says Kamela. “I become a lot more diva-ish. I know I’m about to do something I’m good at, and I get this feeling like I own the world. Plus, I know I’m going to look really good.” Believe us, Kamela, you don’t need a runway for that.

— Shawn Donnelly