HIGHLAND PARK — Highland Park High School basketball player Matthew Allen has been suspended from the team following an arrest for driving drunk.
Allen, 18, was picked up Saturday night after police say he hit a parked car, then drove away from the scene.
He was arrested a short distance away.
At his Highland Park home on Tuesday, Allen's mother Melissa defended her son. "He is the most awesome guy in the whole wide world," she said. "He has the heart of a champion, and he loves his team."
Melissa Allen denied her son had been drinking alcohol, and told News 8 that there is a discrepancy in what police officers found at the scene.
She said Matthew was just scared after hitting another vehicle and took off.
According to arrest records, the teenager "had a strong odor of alcohol" when officers confronted him. Records also show a breath test revealed there was alcohol in his system.
Allen is the leading scorer on the basketball team, helping the Scots to a 27-2 record this season.
Last month, he scored 53 points in a game.
Allen missed Tuesday night's playoff game against Newman Smith of Carrollton. If his team wins without him, he could miss more games.
The school district would not comment on his arrest, but its Code of Conduct policy states that a student athlete who gets caught drinking alcohol is suspended for one week, or 10 percent of the season.