Mariah Riley is beaming. The 11-year-old sixth-grader has just finished touring her family's home in Akron, Ohio, newly renovated in a construction blitz spearheaded by the LeBron James Family Foundation and the TV show "Rehab Addict."

What does she like best? Her bedroom, of course, especially the huge mirror. "I like to look at myself a lot," she says, "to make sure I look pretty."

Mariah and her family are getting their first look at the finished house after a top-to-bottom, eight-day renovation that included a new kitchen and bathroom, fresh landscaping and a redecorated interior. It also included central air-conditioning, much to the delight of Mariah's mother, Melanie English.

The family helped with the project but has been kept away from the house for several days to make the final unveiling a surprise. The media is being allowed to see only the exterior of the completed house, so as not to steal the thunder from the fall HGTV episode of "Rehab Addict" on this renovation.

James and his wife, Savannah, are touring the house with the family and the show's star, Nicole Curtis, while volunteers and other spectators wait eagerly outside. The Jameses' sons -- LeBron Jr. (Bronny) and Bryce -- pass the time fiddling with a camera on a boom and chasing friends on the sidewalk.

A couple of times Mariah peeks out from her second-floor bedroom window, waving to the crowd below with her shih tzu, Gizmo, in her arms.


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Finally, the family members come out and take their places in front of the house. The front door opens, and Curtis and the Jameses step onto the front porch to cheers from the crowd.

"I just want to say thank you to everyone who's here," LeBron James says, "especially the contractors. You guys are unbelievable. ... I have no idea how you did this."

Curtis admits the work was tough but says that, as a mother, she was motivated to give Mariah and her brothers, Ezekiel and Xavier, spaces of their own. "I want this to be my best project yet," she says.

In a little more than a week, the workers rescued the house from a forlorn state. Besides making cosmetic improvements, the problems they remedied included a wet basement, inadequate electrical service, mildew, broken light fixtures, sagging porches and a leaking water heater.

Mariah was chosen as winner of the house makeover in a random drawing from among new sixth-graders who had met certain academic and behavioral criteria in James' Wheels for Education program, which provides mentoring and support as well as inspiration from James himself.

The students eligible for the drawing were all members of the class of 2021, the first to be involved in the Wheels for Education program. They're graduating to its I Promise Network, which will support them through middle and high school.

The LeBron James Family Foundation invited "Rehab Addict" to take on the project after considering several HGTV shows, says Michele Campbell, executive director of the foundation. She says one of the determining factors was the love Curtis has for her hometown of Detroit. Campbell likens it to James' affection for Akron. "It seemed like her values and LeBron's values ... matched," Campbell says.

The renovation was the centerpiece of the Promise Project, which also provided yard makeovers for nine other families of eligible sixth-graders in the Wheels for Education program. Local contractors and organizations donated materials and labor to the project, which also included volunteers associated with the foundation -- many of them members of James' family.

Campbell says the foundation plans to make the Promise Project a yearly event.

Besides giving Mariah a house that has been renovated from top to bottom, the project is also giving her and her brothers something else -- a chance to shoot hoops with one of the biggest stars in the NBA. After the house reveal, James and his sons join the Riley kids in the driveway for a little basketball while the show's camera crew captures the action.

Next to seeing her new bedroom, that might just be the coolest part of Mariah's day.