Stealing the ball in basketball can change the outcome of a game. They're so important that teams will devise strategies around them. Steals can happen during a pass while the ball is in transit. Steals can also happen by hitting the ball out of the opposing player's hands.
PRO TIP: A defensive player must be careful not to make contact with an offensive player who has the ball with his/her hands, body, or forearms. This is called a personal foul and will result in free throws for the other team.