Woz felt he needed a high level language on his computer, as well as one that could be used to write and play games. The 4k minimum memory on the Apple I and Apple ][ were so the computer could run them in BASIC, even though that made them "100-1000x slower." Woz wrote his own BASIC (based on HP BASIC) from scratch with no knowledge about how to write a compiler, though he did borrow some school papers from his friend Allen Baum. He felt FORTRAN was for engineers and chose BASIC because he wanted regular people to be able to write and run programs in it, and wanted to run the games in a book of 101 games in BASIC (don't know if that is the exact name - something like that). He demo'd Breakout, written in Integer BASIC to Jobs and showed how easy it was to change little things like block color, something that would require a hardware redesign to do in software.
BASIC may suck, but the reason it was chosen was it was a programming language targeting beginners, not engineers (the effing name tells us that - Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). I too have a lot of disdain for it, but the fact is it was my first programming language and I probably never would have learned to program had I not learned that (and graduated to writing assembler by the time I was 12).