The basketball is real in the sense that it has substance. The definition of real is "Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence."
You can feel the basketball in your hands. You can feel it when it hits you in the face after someone passes it and you miss catching it, and your cut lip or bleeding nose shows evidence of the impact it made. This verifies that you were, in fact, in contact with the basketball and that it is real.
You can hear it when it bounces off the floor; you might even be able to feel vibrations through the floorboards from the contact it is making with them.
You see the basketball in your hands, in the hands of your teammates. You see the effect upon the net when the basketball passes through - the net moves because an object with structure and shape has disturbed the net.
How you feel about this real thing changes, depending on the given situation. When it hits you in the face, you may think it is very hard and not like it. When it goes through the net and results in a victory for your team, you cherish it, have your teammates autograph it, and display it with pride.
The basketball, not the sport..
What makes basketball real?
How do you know the basketball is real and not merely imagined?
Do you feel positive, negative, or neutral about the basketball and why?
Everything makes basketball real from stepping on the court to scoring a point. The ball, the bounce, the running, the puffing, the scoring, the yelling, the arguing, the commotion, it's to good to be true.
The feeling of the ball and the grip. The small circles that make you have more grip. The bounce of the ball, when you throw it, everything.
I feel very positive because it is intense. The game is so good like when they dunk and reject another player. The game is so exciting.